Farms with a Future: Dam Repairs, Water Quality & Aquaculture in Brogo : SCPA Good News : SCPA South East Producers

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Farms with a Future: Dam Repairs, Water Quality & Aquaculture in Brogo

Click on any photo to enlarge

The SCPA ‘Farms with a Future’ Ground Work Day on the property of Ida Pedersen (Israels Rd Brogo) was all about the dam. It started with an overview of the problems, especially the need to fix the dam overflow.

Ida Pedersen explained the problems with the farm dam


to the participants


Down at the dam it became apparent how much work had been done before the day.

John Evans had been engaged to reshape the spillway and the 2 consultants in attendance:

Plants specialist James Cook


and aquaculture consultant Django Van Tholen


had visited the property to assess what was needed then assembled the necessary materials and prepared for the day.

Tools and plants had been assembled


and 100 newly purchased fish (Bass) were in their temporary enclosure


Django led the group in an assessment of the health of the dam, considering visual impressions as well as data on water pH, temperature and phosphate levels. (Ida now plans to regularly collect and record this data).

James gave instruction on establishing plants on the banks of the dam (planting them above, below, and on the water line to increases the chance of some plants thriving no matter what the weather brings).

New plants in the banks on the dam

Django had suggested using a ‘floating island’ of plants to improve water filtration. The large frame was constructed by Ida’s partner, Jimmy Fromhold, from mostly recycled and left over materials including poly pipe, shade cloth and wire. This frame was then:

carefully filled with straw and soil


before being gently levelled,



planted with aquatic species,


and launched (but still tied to the fence until it is firmly anchored).


Under Django’s direction:

the existing pond life was examined


and the new fish released


After lunch, work began on stabilising the reshaped spillway which had been laser levelled and made wider.

Jimmy had formed the holes for the new plants

James explained planting techniques, the use of wetting agents and types of plant guards. The bank above the bowl was planted with a mix of endemic trees, shrubs, vines and grasses. Sterile rye and oat seeds were broadcast, raked and lightly covered with rice straw, and later watered.

The bank above the bowl

The steeper slope below the bowl was seeded and planted with sedges and grasses.

Lomandara longifolia (spiny mat rush), Carex appressa (sword sedge), Poa labillidierii (poa tussock) were used for the steep spill way and are great erosion control plants or for bedecking flood prone areas (in the Bega Valley/Eurobodalla area) as they are really tough.

The bank below the bowl

NOTE: Participants who have no legs below the knees in the above picture are standing in the ‘bowl’ behind the new spillway.

A great deal of work was completed. Ida was thrilled that so much support was given to them by the participants on the day.

THANK YOU to all of the participants - from Ida

James Cook can be contacted at
Django Van Tholen can be contacted at

Thanks to Ida Pedersen and Jimmy Fromhold, James Cook and Django Van Tholen, the participants, the Farms with a Future Team (Penny Kothe, David Newell & Carolyn Wells), the Caterer (Linda Sang in Cobargo) and South East LLS for a great day.
Farms with a Future is part of the $125 million of National Landcare Programme investment that Local Land Services is delivering to boost farm gate productivity and improve environmental health across NSW.


Submitted by : Carolyn
1st Nov 2017