Collaborative work to restore the Kimberley’s Lake Daley system

[November 2015] 

The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) is working with Nyikina Mangala Rangers to undertake erosion mitigation and fencing to protect and restore the Lake Daley lake system on Myroodah Station in the West Kimberley.

Nyikina Mangala RangersNyikina Mangala Ranger Coordinator Dan Keynes and the Ranger team have undertaken erosion mitigation work including putting in scrub and sieve structures and pinning them down to slow the water flow and encourage soil deposition in the right places. 

Myroodah Station Manager, Chris Daniell, and Myroodah Station staff will install fencing to enable careful management of cattle grazing to allow regeneration of the wetland and its catchment.

Rangelands NRM, with Australian Government Landcare Programme funding, supported Ecologically Sustainable Rangeland Management (ESRM) planning for the station and engaged landscape ecologist Richard Glover to help identify priority sites.  

Richard Glover of Biota said erosion had breached key areas in the Lake Daley catchment and caused ponded lakes to drain.

“The aim is to rebuild the lake system so we have three lakes back each wet season which grow good feed and provide good habitat for plants and animals,” he said.

He said the goal is to change from the current erosional water flow to depositional water flow to start to plug areas up. 

He emphasised the importance of managing total grazing pressure along with erosion control works because uncontrolled grazing can undo any good work.

Permeable barriers to slow water flowRangelands NRM also supported trips on Country to allow the Rangers to be involved in working out preferred methods to manage the site and develop proposals for the work.

Mr Keynes said the Rangers are bringing their knowledge and skills to provide fee-for-service work to help pastoralists with sustainable land management. 

“A lot of the old people in the community have told the Rangers how the wetland system here used to be when they were young fellas out there hunting,” he said.

“This has been a very worthwhile project. There is now interest from other stations after seeing the job we have done here.”

Peter Cunningham of ILC said they had been very impressed with the work that the Rangers had done.

“Hopefully we can recreate the wetland in time,” he said.

Images:
1) Lake Dayley Catchment Restoration a joint effort: Myroodah Station, Indigenous Land Corporation, Nyikina Mangala Rangers, Biota Environmental Sciences and Rangelands NRM. 
2) Permeable barriers installed at strategic locations aim to slow water and catch sediment to rebuild the ponded lake system upstream of Lake Daley.
Photos by Grey Mackay.