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Avoca River Nature Trail

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Dundas Street, Avoca VIC 3467

Features

  • Walking track
  • Cycling
  • Information signs
  • Picnic tables
  • Fishing
  • Birdwatching
The Avoca River Nature Trail is a beautiful, scenic walk through gorgeous parkland along the banks of the Avoca River. The walk begins at the Lions Club Park.

As well as the fantastic barbecue, playground and camping facilities at the Lions Club Park, the nature walk also has picnic tables and rubbish bins scattered on the lawn alongside the river.

The walking track also takes you close to the tranquil Avoca Chinese Garden and the Avoca Skate Park. The track is well formed gravel, pram friendly.

The following text is displayed on information signs along the Avoca River Nature Trail:

THE RIVER'S HISTORY

The traditional owners of the land in the Avoca district, the Dja Dja Wurrung people placed a high value on the Avoca River, using it as a great source of food, water and shelter.

After European settlement in the district, the Avoca River continued to be the focal point of the township when the first homes and business started to appear in the 1850s. The River's appearance changed dramatically as the population of Avoca started to swell with the discovery of gold in the district and the expansion of farming land. As the main source of water in the town, the river was used for bathing, washing, drinking and also for stock watering. In the 1860s it was decided that a designated area on the river was required for bathing to reduce the decline of water quality. The Avoca Municipal Baths were located among the cypress trees that are still located in the current Lions Club Park. It is presumed that the Bathkeepers house was washed away during a flood in 1870.

The Avoca River in flood is quite a spectacular sight. While flood waters that extend as far as the football ground are rare these days, some of the photographs depict huge floods that have stretched as far as High Street. (Photographs on information sign)

The main bridge over the river has been replaced twice since the first was constructed in 1859. The second bridge was opened in 1870 complete with stone pillars at the entrances on either bank. The large timber support beams that stretched across the river were milled from local timbers. The 1956 flood caused significant damage to the bridge so it was then replaced with the solid concrete bridge that you can see today. A windmill and tank were installed along side the bridge to create a main water supply to the town.

The ford at the end of Duke Street has been in place since the 1850s and was originally made from slate and cobble stones. Cars have been caught trying to cross the ford during a flood.

RIVER'S VEGETATION

From the canopy of the mighty River Red Gum to the aquatic plants that line the edges, the Avoca River's diverse range of vegetation provides a variety of functions for the river environment.

Vegetation is vital to the health of the river as it helps to stabilise the river bank, reduces erosion, controls movement of sediment and helps to trap pollutants before they reach the water.

Many plants are home to a wide range of native birds and animals while other plants are their food source.

Trees including yellow gum, river red gum and grey box line the banks of the river. These trees provide shade to the river below which helps keep temperatures stable for the animals that inhabit the pools and riffles. Large hollows in the tree canopy provide refuge for possums, bats and a range of bird species.

Native grasses help stabilise the banks and reduce erosion. Poas are a native tuffed grass that are common along the Avoca River. Its flowers attract birds, butterflies and other insects. Poas are commonly used in habitat restoration projects due to their fast growing nature and ability to survive in dry conditions.

Instream vegetation is an indicator of how healthy a river is. Plants such as phragmites and native cumbungi grow in the shallows along the edges of the river and provide oxygen to the water and create important refuges for nesting birds, fish and macroinvertebrates. Often these plants are considered to be a problem in a waterway, however they are actually incredibly important.

Water ribbons (Triglochin procera) are an emergent plant which grow in slow moving sections of the river. They provide shade and shelter and their tuberous roots were once a common food source for indigenous people.

Water Milfoil is another submergent water plant that is common in the Avoca River. These plants are an excellent food source for birds and encourage small fish and macroinvertebrates to use them as a safe habitat.

Friends of the River have been working with the North Central Catchment Management Authority and Avoca Primary School to revegetate the banks of the river with local trees and shrubs. These plants will help stabilise the banks and provide imroved habitat along the river.

FISHING IN THE RIVER

The Avoca River contains a diverse range of native and introduced fish species. There are a number of good fishing holes along the river and you're encouraged to cast in a line and try your luck on one of the following species which are of interest to anglers.

Please ensure that you follow the necessary regulations which include minimum size limits, bag limits and closed seasons for different species. You will also require a Recreational Fishing Licence (unless you are exempt). For information on regulations and licence requirements refer to the Victorian Recreational Fishing Guide (www.dpi.vic.gov.au/fishing). Please make sure you take your rubbish with you.

Redfin Perch
Redfin are an introduced species that are widespread in Victoria. They are popular with anglers and renowned for their eating qualities.

European Carp
European carp were first introduced into Australian waters in the 1860's. They are identified as a noxious species in Victorian waterways. Carp must not be returned to the river alive.

Murray Cod
Murray cod are a large native species which prefer to reside around large logs and snags. Fisheries Victoria periodically stocks Murray cod into the Avoca River.

Golden Perch
Golden perch are also known as yellowbelly and prefer slower flowing backwaters around snags and vegetation. Fisheries Victoria periodically stocks golden perch into the Avoca River.

River Blackfish
River blackfish are a smaller species which prefers habitats with good instream cover such as woody depris, aquatic vegetation or boulders. They are nocturnal and more frequently caught at night.



 

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