Gomfidae in Mpofana – Yay!

Brave Balgowan Conservancy hosted a Water Workshop just as the water was starting to get chilly.  This is part of the MCF Protecting Ecological Resources Project funded by N3TC. Priscilla Young wrote this report:

Penny Rees gave us a super talk with video footage of her walk from the source of the uMngeni river to the sea.  Then we then went down to the Dormer Bridge where we went wading into the Mpofana River.  Here we look up streammpofana from dormer bridge

Penny said this was going to be the perfect spot for us to do our testing and collection of species. We are now “Entomologists of the Aquatic kind”! However, this was not a pretty place on the river.

pollution mpofana

We found a nice flat rock to sit on and scrutinise what we found,  lots of rocks and slow and fast moving water – the ideal spot for a miniSASS test.

mpofana 1

Time to get the feet wet – Yvonne, Nhlaka and Penny start ‘fishing’

mpofana feet wet

Nhlaka has caught a “tub” full of “goodies”

nhlakaAnd David too!

david crowePenny, Yvonne and Nhlaka sifting and identifying their catches with magnifying glass to get a closer look.

yvonne nhlaka penny 1All the Yoghurt pots have been emptied onto the platter for examination by the “catchers” and listed by Penny. All sorts of interesting little water creatures were discovered – ready to be photographed and catalogued.

mpofane photo

This fellow was our major find! Apparently quite difficult to catch and find, and I believe the Dargle Conservancy will be quite jealous of this chap! This is his grand name! Dragonfly: Gomphidae Mini SASS Score: 8.25: Natural, unmodified condition. Penny commented“Howzat?! Not often we find such a good score.”

gomphidae

What a fruitful day. The weather was fantastic and Penny came to the conclusion that at this point – The Dormer Bridge – the Mpofana River was really very clean BUT we now wait to see what happens further upstream and when the Spring Grove Dam comes fully into operation.

Penny adds: The Mpofana is a crucial part of the Mooi uMngeni inter-basin transfer as the water from the Mooi River is deposited into this stream. This is already causing erosion, so everyone is waiting with bated breath to see what happens when the increased amount of water is sent down from the new Spring Grove Dam.

This is a list of what was caught/found in the River and we now have to monitor on a regular basis. Hopefully more people will join us in the next in the Water Workshop. It really was a lot of fun!

  • Flat worms: Planaria
  • Fresh water shrimp
  • Stonefly: Perlidae
  • Minnow Mayfly: Baetidae
  • Other Mayfly: Heptagenidae, Tricorythidae
  • Dragonfly: Gomphidae
  • Bugs / Beetles: Gyrinidae, Veliidae
  • Snails: Ancylidae

Penny Rees and her team of DUCT River Walkers will be exploring the entire Mpofana River in October this year.  Read her version of the day’s events.

mpofana water workshop

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