I grew up in Cooriemungle when they were still clearing land and have vivid memories of the bulldozers and the fires.
In the 1950s and 60s the Heytesbury forest was cleared to make way for farm land. This farm land based around the township of Simpson is now prime dairy farmland, producing great amounts of high quality milk that goes to make the things we eat each day fantastic !
The outcome for native fish and other creatures that lived in the creeks and streams that passed through this land is not so good. The run off after heavy rains ( and it rained very heavily during that time) contained tons of ash and silt that clogged all the waterways.
As you can see below the devastation was complete, the tons of silt and ash that washed down the Cooriemungle creek and the little Cooriemungle and many other runnels that existed over most of the hillsides into the Scotts creek and then into the Curdies river killing every living thing on is way. The eastern side was not spared the Kennedy’s creek took its load down to the Gellibrand river with the same result.
If you like more info about the clearing of the Heytesbury forest please visit the historical site
I have been told by people who lived there prior to the clearing that Platypus and blackfish were abundant in these waterways, now we would not give this great farmland back to nature but we can fix some of the damage, with excavator’s and other machinery that’s available today such as backhoes and bobcats etc .
There are places where near virgin forest still remains along the Cooriemungle creek.
The problem is basically one of depth as you can see there is plenty of timber in the stream however it is shallow and during the summer months it all but dries up the remaining water is to hot for large fish to survive.
It is my belief that when the silt from the clearing went down the river and creeks it changed both the shape, contours and depth of these waterways, if we could deepen parts to allow a place for fish to see out the drier months it maybe possible to restock some in the future.
So I would like to ask the authorities to have a look and see what can be achieved, it would be a great thing to bring back to the area both Blackfish and Platypus and of course their food fish such as pygmy perch etc.
The Scott’s creek today.
Its not what it should be or could be.