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Paddys River Group: Cotter River

Paddys River Group: Cotter River

Bottle number: 25

About the water

A colour photo of Fleur Horan collecting her water sample from the Cotter River campground.
Fleur Horan

Collected at: Cotter River at Cotter Campground, ACT

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Collected by: Paddys River Group

Our group has been involved here for only 18 months. It was suggested that our team monitor the water quality, flow rate and water levels before, during and after the major construction works associated with the Cotter dam extensions.

Water quality:

Turbidity: <10
pH: 7.52 pH units
Salinity: EC is 82 uS/cm
Phosphates: Orthophosphates 0.01 ppm
Dissolved oxygen: 96%

ACT Waterwatch says:

This is a lovely place to swim, with clear clean water. Notice the high level of oxygen saturation: that means lots of happy fish.

Cotter River at Cotter Campground, ACT
Cotter River at Cotter Campground, ACT.

About the site

The site is on the Cotter River before it joins the Murrumbidgee River and below the Cotter Dam Wall — currently being extended. This waterway will be affected by the changes underway to extend the Cotter dam wall and to pump water from the Murrumbidgee to Googong Dam. The site is a very popular and well-used campground where the waterway allows swimming, fishing, kayaking activities etc. The open floodplain encourages walking activities.

What's going on:

The site is well used by family and community groups for camping, swimming, fishing etc. River banks are lined with trampled sedge growth where campers access the river —however upstream the riparian zone seems very healthy with 3 levels of native vegetation showing good regrowth after the 2003 fires.

We follow Waterwatch monitoring procedures each month, conduct a Frogwatch survey in National Waterweek, assess the state of the riparian zone in spring and also undertake a survey of macroinvertebrates in spring. We report to the Southern ACT Catchment Group coordinator on the general condition of the area with anecdotal comments on plant, bird and animal sightings as well as algae and rubbish conditions.