Logs and stumps from Bunbury Outer Ring Road work to be repurposed for marron habitat

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenHarvey-Waroona Reporter
Marron in the Harvey River are expected to benefit from repurposed tree logs and stumps from the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project.
Camera IconMarron in the Harvey River are expected to benefit from repurposed tree logs and stumps from the Bunbury Outer Ring Road project. Credit: Craig Lawrence

Marron in the Harvey River are set to be an unexpected winner from the South West’s biggest infrastructure project, with logs from cleared trees to be repurposed as habitat for the native freshwater crays.

Volunteers from recreational fishing charity OzFish Unlimited will turn the logs and stumps from trees cleared during the $1.25 billion Bunbury Outer Ring Road construction into ‘snags’ — a complex habitat for the marron which will provide shade, shelter, food and a resting place.

The project makes up part of the latest stage of work being led by the Harvey River Restoration Taskforce, the Water Corporation, Murdoch University and Greening Australia.

OzFish State project manager Steve Pursell said the snags could play an important role in supporting marron numbers in the South West.

“The large woody structures provide marron, particularly juveniles, important habitat for food and protection from predators,” he said.

“Marron thrive in lots of complex habitat, particularly things like woody logs which are unfortunately lacking in many waterways, having been removed for various reasons over the last 100 years.”

Mr Pursell said the project would work on parts of the river which had been artificially straightened and resembled agricultural drains.

“Research also suggests marron are often territorial and won’t move far if the habitat is healthy, so we want to give them a reason to stick around,” he said.

“Placed in the right location, they will be the perfect homes and communities for them to begin naturally thriving.”

The snags will be monitored after they are installed.

The snags project is a partnership between the recreational fishing charity, the South West Gateway Alliance, the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Harvey Aboriginal Corporation, Murdoch University and BCF.

Funding for the project has been provided by the State Government’s recreational fishing initiatives fund, the State Natural Resource Management Program, Water Corporation, the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council and the Alcoa Foundation.

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