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5.0 Jock River-Richmond Fen Catchment: Challenges/Issues

Water Quality/Quantity

Surface chemistry water quality rating for the Jock River in the Richmond Fen catchment is unknown

Instream biological water quality conditions for the Jock River in the Richmond Fen catchment are unknown

Existing hydrological and geochemical datasets and assessments (academic, RVCA, others) are only recently available and/or are not being considered in the characterization of the numerous hydrologic functions of the Jock River subwatershed. Further, there is a dearth of hydrologic information (hydroperiod, groundwater/surface water interactions, geochemistry) about the wetlands that remain in the Jock River subwatershed

Headwaters/Instream/Shorelines

‘Natural’ vegetation covers 67 percent of the riparian zone of the Jock River and its tributaries (Figure 40) and is below the recommended 30 metre wide, naturally vegetated target along 75 percent of the length of the catchment’s rivers, creeks and streams

Land Cover

Woodlands cover 18 percent of the catchment and is less than the 30 percent of forest cover that is identified as the minimum threshold for sustaining forest birds and other woodland dependent species (Figure 38)

Pre-settlement wetlands have declined by 29 percent and now cover 50 percent (1290 ha.) of the catchment (Figure 39). Eight percent (101 ha.) of these wetlands remain unevaluated/unregulated and are vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them for the many important hydrological, social, biological and ecological functions/services/values they provide to landowners and the surrounding community