December 2020: The Catchment Group kicked off with a Rapid Habitat Assessment field day and BBQ. With the help of the Land Sustainability team from Environment Southland we looked at 3 different sections of the Merton Stream and scored them based on a set of criteria. It was a ripper of an afternoon which was finished off with a chat about the possibilities of a catchment group, a cold drink and a BBQ.
May 2021: In May the group took up the offer of some environmental-DNA tests. They took water samples from the Lilburn and Merton Streams. The process involved passing water through a filter that was attached to the end of syringe. The filter captured DNA that was in the water. We sent the filters to Wilderlab for analysis. We got some really awesome results and feedback from the lab - highlights were Kanakana (lamprey) and Gollum Galaxids among so many other interesting species.
July 2021: In early July the catchment group got together at the Town and Country club to hear from a member of the Dipton and Pourakino Catchment Groups to learn how they got started, what they have learnt and what they are up to. They also went over the fantastic eDNA results and started chatting about 'what next' for the group.
July 2021: At the end of the month the group came together for their first real Committee meeting. They had some great discussions about the direction of the group, how to increase engagement, why they wanted to be involved in a catchment group and what they could do first. The consensus was to hold an 'understanding our numbers' evening. A bit of social and a bit of information around what water quality results and numbers actually mean for the Lower Waiau area.
September 2021: Watch this space - another committee meeting planned to go to the next level!
October 2021: Check out the Events page for details on the Know Our Numbers - Community Event to understand water quality and have a catch up,