Yass River renewal via Willow removal and native plantings

Yass Landcare Group has worked to improve the health of the Yass River for over a decade.

The Yass River renewal project which is heavily focused on willow removal began over 15 years ago.  The idea to improve the flow and water quality of the river arose from small gatherings of landholders who had Yass River frontage who would get together to remove and poison small willows on a weekend.  Some fishing and canoeing where possible were also part of these gatherings.  

The Yass Valley Council could see the benefit of the labour intensive work being undertaken and provided one of the first grants to progress the removal of willows via machinery.  After this first round of funding the benefits of willow removal could been seen and further funding was gained from the Murrumbidgee Catchment Management Authority and recently through an Environmental Trust Grant and a grant from Local Land Services Wagga office.

Consecutive projects have removed invasive crack willows, and replaced them with native vegetation. Reeds and frogs have returned in abundance. Platypus and rakali sightings are now more frequent. 

In the early 2000's there were minimal native fish in the Yass River which were detected through electro fishing so since then the repopulation of small fishlings of Yellow Belly and Cod has been undertaken to create via fish stocks in the Yass River.  

Landholders who have Yass River frontage are encouraged to monitor their site for new willow establishment and to remove them when young if possible.