Barretts Lagoon in good hands

December 18, 2017

Tully has more floodplain lagoons that any other Great Barrier Reef catchment, and local cane farmers and community partners are working together to make sure one of the largest lagoons is in top condition.

Terrain’s Tony O’Malley said that farmers are working with Gulnay Traditional Owners, Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services, Cassowary Coast Regional Council and James Cook University to share technical, local and practical knowledge about Barretts Lagoon.

“Credit to farmers Santo and Denis who own the land where the lagoon is. They’ve done a lot of work to remove hymenachne, which was smothering the lagoon and threatening fish populations and farm drainage.

“Sharing knowledge and working together like this means we can identify and implement the best solutions for managing the lagoon’s multiple functions and values,” said Mr O’Malley.

Everyone met on site earlier this month to discuss an upcoming TropWater/James Cook University wetland research project that will look at the lagoon system’s hydrology, biodiversity, and connectivity and restoration options.

“All the partners are involved in designing the research questions, including the farmers and Traditional Owners who know the lagoon system, as well as the Council and managers of the National Park down stream. This means that the people managing the country will get practical and timely results that are more likely to be used on ground.”

Terrain will get everyone together again in early 2018 to help JCU finalise questions and kickstart action.

Barretts Lagoon is a Gulnay traditional story place known as Gabun, meaning little fish after a small gudgeon that only travels in the wet season.