Region: Ovens

Legal Number: LEGL/93-149

Plantation: Hurdle Creek

Conservation Priority: High

Plantation within Australian Newsprint Mill (ANM) Ltd area of supply.

Plantation within Carter Holt Harvey (now owned by International Paper) area of supply.

Plantation within Dominance Industries (Alpine MDF Industries) area of supply.

Plantation within D & R Henderson/Monsbent area of supply.

Proclaimed Water Catchment Area: This plantation area is located in the Ovens River (Wangaratta) Water Supply Catchment.

North East Victoria Plantation Map here

April 2003: Headwaters of Clear Creek - Recently clearfelled with minimal protection of natural drainage lines.

For more graphic photos of this plantation go to: April03 Ovens Updates.


Incomplete Herbicide Regime

This plantation was aerially sprayed with 2,4,5-T between 1968 and 1977. The Dioxin TCDD may still exist in soil in this plantation. For more historical data on 2,4,5-T click here. For more information concerning the continuing health crisis concerning 2,4,5-T please forward to here.

"In June 1973 the F.C.V. (Forests Commission Victoria) carried out a larger study in 1 335 hectare section of a pine plantation in a catchment of Clear Creek near Myrtleford. Four stream sample points were established at varying distances from the spray area and a total of 1,000 samples were collected over a ten day period. Major peaks in 2,4,5-T concentration occurred after rain, and lesser, relatively insignificant, peaks also occurred during spraying (McKimm, 1974). McKimm stated that 2,4,5-T concentrations were in excess of the upper limit of 20 ug/litre set by the N.H. & M.R.C. but he did not list values. In fact, at the sampling point immediately below the spray zone values of 75 ug/l were obtained during spraying and peaks up to 690ug/l were obtained after rain. Three kilometres downstream values of 135 ug/l were obtained during spraying and peaks up to 500ug/l were obtained after rain. Worse, for the sampling point immediately below the spray zone, of 83 readings made during the seven days after spraying, 48% (40) exceeded 20 ug/l.; 14% (12) exceeded 50 ug/l.; and 7% (6) exceeded 100 ug/l. These measurements indicated that there was a significant threat to streams in aerially sprayed areas, but nothing was done. Rather, two new monitoring programs were organised, one at Carboor near Myrtleford and another at Narbethong in the Central Highlands." (Source: The Herbicide 2,4,5-T and its use in Forestry. By Peter Rawlinson Zoology Department, LaTrobe University, Bundoora, 3083. 1980?)

Minutes Pesticides Review Committee Meeting# 141 6th October 1978: Letter to PRC from Forests Commission 19/9/78. Approval sought for ground spraying program of competing grass in softwood plantation in the Myrtleford District in October 1978. Proposed spraying to take place over gross area of 150ha in three seperate blocks of which 38% or 90ha will be sprayed. Weedazol TL Plus 4 l/ha, Gesaprim 500FW 4 l/ha. Hurdle, Scrubby and Clear Creeks drain areas to be sprayed. Water for domestic use is drawn from Scrubby Creek 200m downstream from the spray area.

On the 23rd of July 1979, the Forests Commission proposed to the Victorian Pesticide Review Committee a groundspraying program for control of competing grass in softwood plantations in the Myrtleford Forest District in late winter/spring 1979 on purchased farmland. The Forests Commission proposed to use Weedazol TL Plus (Amitrole) 0-2l/ha and Gesaprim 500 Fw (Atrazine) 8l/ha in the headwaters of a tributary of Hurdle Creek - the nearest offtake water offtake was 4.5km downstream of East Carboor. (In 2002 it was discovered by US Professor Tyrone Hayes that Atrazine at levels as low as 0.1ppb could castrate amphibians. Amitrole was also known in 1975 as being a goitrogen (depresses thyroid activity).

Herbicides Used by Hancock in Pine Plantations - North East Region Victoria

Herbicide Label Rate max as kg/ha Used to control Notes Application
Carfentrazone-Ethyl 0.036      
Clopyralid 2.55 Woody Weeds Highly Toxic/Potential Ground water Contaminant air or ground
Glyphosate 3.6 Herbaceous and woody weeds, noxious weeds    
Hexazinone 4 Woody Weeds Ground Water Contaminant Aerial, ground, spot
Metsulfuron-Methyl 0.06 Woody Weeds, Noxious Weeds Potential Ground Water Contaminant Aerial, ground or spot
Triclopyr 3 Woody and Noxious Weeds   Ground, spot, basal bark

THREATENED FISH NOTES - OVENS RIVER: Most important river in Victoria in regard to the survival of the Murray Cod. Murray Cod spawn almost as far up as Myrtleford and the Ovens supplies recruitment for the Murray River as well. The Ovens has no dams and is a river of extreme national significance. Trout Cod are now being found in the Ovens and may set up a self sustaining spawning population. Trout Cod have been successfully stocked into Ovens and upper Ovens, downstream of Myrtleford and going up the King River - past Moyhu. All the tribs of the Ovens are important for native fish including King, Buffalo and Buckland Rivers.

April 2003: Recent clearfelling inside the Gap Creek Catchment. A 4 km stretch of pine has recently been logged inside the northern aspect of this plantation. Numerous problems were identified in the plantation, most notably being the minimal protection being afforded to natural drainage lines.

Responsible Authority: Wanagaratta Shire Council

Plantation Catchment: Numerous tributaries and headwaters of Gap Creek/Hurdle Creek/King River. Numerous tributaries and headwaters of Clear Creek North Branch/Hurdle Creek/King River. Numerous tributaries and headwaters of Clear Creek South Branch/Hurdle Creek/King River. Numerous unnamed tributaries of Hurdle Creek.

April 2003: More clearfelling in the Gap creek catchment. No protection for natural drainage lines inside the plantation.

Catchment Managment Authority: North East Catchment Management Authority.

Hancock Watch Visit Feb 03: Enourmous plantation extending 4km east to west and 5km north to south in the Hurdle Creek catchment. We scouted only the southernmost portion of the plantation. There could be up to a couple of hundred hectares of native vegetation within this plantation although further examination of the area is required.

ôSpecial Investigation: North-Eastern Victoria - Ovens Softwood Plantation Zone. Land Conservation Council 1981.

p11 Central Region To the north and east of the Eastern Boundary Fault lies an extenisive area of mountainous terrain composed of Ordovician sandstones and mudstones that are less resistant to erosion than the rocks of the south-western region. The drainage pattern is dendritic and the streams are seperated by sharp ridges and spurs. The mountains to the south of Mount Buffalo are typical of this region, which extends east to Mount Beauty and north to Myrtleford.

In the north-west around Moyhu and Bobinalwarral the ridges of Ordovician sediments become buried beneath the alluvial deposits of the riverine plain. Within the region, exposures of granitic rocks have intruded into the surrounding Ordovician sediments. Intense heat associated with the intrusions has altered (or metamorphosed) the adjacent sedimentary rocks. The granite outcrops at Mount Buffalo and Mount Emu are extremely resistant, while the surrounding sedimentary rocks which are less resistant have been deeply dissected.

In contrast, the granite in the Pinnacles area to the east of Myrtleford is more susceptible to weathering and erosion and as a consequence the terrain in this area is more subdued. A ridge of metamorphic rocks borders Happy Valley to the east of Myrtleford. Friable reddish and brownish gradational soils occur on the Ordovician sediments of this region, while the granitic rocks of Buffalo Plateau and Mount Emu exhibit a variety of soil types. Stony loams are characteristic of rocky outcrops while poorly drained sites contain organic loams and peats. Sandy loams and friable gradational soils are found on the lower slopes of these intrusions. The less resistant granitic rocks at the Pinnacles and Abbeyard carry a variety of gradational soils on the upper slopes and a range of duplex soils at lower elevations. The gradational soils are suitable for softwoods, but the poorly drained duplex soils are not.

April 2003: Recent clearfelling in the Hurdle Creek catchment.

Ovens River: The rivers all flow north, from heavily forested mountain country through excessive river flats to the Murray River. Murray cod populations close to the Murray River. Small river blackfish are common in many rivers, Macquarie Perch are still occasionally caught, and catches of golden perch are also being reported. Brown trout widely distributed through system with rainbow trout most abundant in upper reaches. Upstream from Myrtleford - Brown Trout to 1.3kg, some rainbow trout, small redfin and river blackfish.

Buffalo River - Below Lake Buffalo: Flows through grazing land. Popular stream section because it is readily accessible for much of its length. Water is used for irrigation, many of the deep holes are silting up. Contains brown trout and rainbow trout average 450g, maximum 1.3kg, also abundant redfin to 1.5kg, with occasional Macquarie Perch and Murray cod in the deeper pools. Stocked with juvenile Murray cod produced at Snobs Creek Hatchery.

Hurdle Creek - Wangaratta: Flows through grazing land and forest, sand bottom. Joins the King River below Moyhu. Catchment highly modified by forestry and agriculture. Stream has silted up badly in the middle and lower reaches and water is very low and warm in summer. A small stream that has only limited prospects for trout and cannot sustain more than light angling pressure. Contains mostly brown trout average 85g, maximum 1.2 kg, rainbow trout to 300g, average 45g, from a self-supporting population. River blackfish to 220g, and small redfin to 200g in the lower reaches.
Source: A Guide to the Inland Angling Waters of Victoria by BR Tunbridge, PL Rogan, CA Barnham. Department Conservation and Environment. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, 123 Brown St, Heidelberg, 3084. (4th ed - 1991)

APRIL 2003: A large portion of the Hurdle Creek catchment (eastern aspect) has an extensive native vegetation buffer zone extending almost 2km east from Hurdle Creek to Bread and Butter Track. However much of this plantation retains minimal buffer zones on natural drainage lines.

Other Notes: Possibly plantation mentioned in FFG as being only site for Concave Pomaderris. "The species is known only from one locality near Carboor Upper, approximately 40km south east of Wangaratta. The population comprises 204 plants covering 0.3 ha. It is almost entirely on Crown land managed by the Victorian Plantation Corporation. Four plants are on adjoining private land".


Australian Newsprint Mill International Paper Buffalo River Ovens River Murray River Murray Cod Golden Perch Redfin Blackfish High Ovens (North East)