Cattle access to rivers causes a variety of issues, including sedimentation, increased nutrient concentrations and disturbance to habitat. This problem is illustrated below and has since been modified to remove the impact of the cattle but still allow access to the river.
As excavation took place an access area was being created to allow cattle to drink even at low water flow, this was fenced and bedded with 75 mm washed limestone as the base. The rest of the fish refuge was also fenced to stop access by cattle. It was very important that this work took place at low flows so that the correct levels for cattle drinking access are achieved.
The finished refuge provides a drinking space for cattle as well as important habitat for fish, macrophytes and birds. We have had reports of many fish fry being seen in the refuge already. Since this photo was taken, the plants have started to take hold and some trees have already been planted. We look forward to seeing how this area changes over the next few years and hopefully encouraging more farmers to install similar drinking bays.