Tom Lowe, environmentalist and retired horticulturalist, talks to Pat Gillingham about the impact of drought and European carp on the bird life of the Kerang Lakes.
For more on the imact of carp on river health see the video Fern Hames The Fish Lady
Further InformationTRANSCRIPT OF DROUGHT STORIES INTERVIEW EXCERPT 14
Pat Gillingham (interviewer): And what has the drought done to your birds, this current drought?
Tom Lowe: Well, there’s virtually no waders around now, you know, there’s no lakes that are suitable for waders, unless you go to the sewerage farm, there are waders do use that.
Pat Gillingham: Now where’s that?
Tom Lowe: Just west, no east, of Kerang, and the sewerage farm, up in Swan Hill.
Pat Gillingham: Oh.
Tom Lowe: Yes, sewerage farm up at Swan Hill, was quite good. Water, but water birds in general, the drought, oh, no there’s no ducks around, much at all now, and a lot of the other water bird life too, just isn’t about. There is another reason of course too, but that European carp have ruined a lot of our fresh water wetlands, and so the bird life, have just abandoned, virtually abandoned, a lot of those lakes ffft, so it’s...
Pat Gillingham: So is the carp, disappearing?
Tom Lowe: Numbers are down, yes, reducing, but there’s still enough to…
Pat Gillingham: Damage.
Tom Lowe: To keep these, yes freshwater wetlands fairly useless for a lot of the birds that you’d normally expect to see. And they, that’s been, it’s been a disaster though, for me, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed kangaroo, in the other wetlands, when they were full of, vegetation, you know, oh ribbon-weed and all the other vegetation grew in them, that, that was great because the food-chain was there, and so the water birds, at the top of the food chain, were there in large numbers, but the carp have removed the vegetation that’s going on.
Pat Gillingham: Mm. Where do they come from?
Tom Lowe: Came from the Murray, but originally they were introduced, somewhere down in Gippsland, yes, but they got brought up into the Murray area somehow or other. Floods in 1974, they got out of the Murray, you know all up through all our lakes and so on, that’s when the problem started.
Copyright held by the Kerang & District Family History Group and the State Library of Victoria. This interview excerpt can only be used for research purposes and must not be reproduced, copied or published in any form without the permission of Kerang & District Family History Group and the State Library of Victoria.
Drought Stories interview excerpt 14: Tom Lowe talks about the impact of drought and European carp on the bird life of the Kerang Lakes,
Pat Gillingham, interviewer,
MP3 file, 1 min:54 secs, 2009,
Collection of the Kerang & District Family History Group and the State Library of Victoria
Kerang & District Family History Group
This interview excerpt can only be used for research purposes and must not be reproduced, copied or published in any form without the permission of the State Library of Victoria and the Kerang and Family History Group.
Copyright held by the State Library of Victoria and the Kerang and Family History Group