Water Bugs and healthy water courses
Sixth Creek rehabilitation is intended to improve and restore a healthy water course through the removal of weeds and revegetating with native riparian flora.
In 2020 a Water Bug Blitz was carried out with volunteers from the Sixth Creek worksites and in partnership with the South Australian Fly Fishing Association.
The citizen science activity of collecting, observing and recording the aquatic invertebrates in the creek confirmed similar data to that reported in the 2015 Aquatic Ecosystem Condition Report by the SA Environmental Protection Authority.
Freshwater invertebrates can live in the creek for all or part of their life cycle. They include juvenile stages of many insects like dragonflies, water beetles, damsel flies or caddisflies. These water bugs are highly sensitive to changes in the water which can be caused by pollution, flood sediment, or high nutrient loads. The removal of invasive woody weeds such as Willows and Ash has been prioritised in the Sixth Creek worksites to minimize nutrient increase caused by excessive leaf fall in the autumn.
The presence of diverse aquatic life in the creek is an indicator of a healthy water course and Fauna habitat for birds and small animals such as the Rakali, Lizards and even Echidnas.
Sixth Creek discourages the collection and removal of aquatic fauna from the creek, but suggests visitors to the Sixth Creek observe and use the Waterbug App to identify waterbugs.