The Gladstone Area Water Board (GAWB) was excited to host Builyan, Ubobo and Nagoorin State School students at the end of November for a tour of their facilities. The first stop for the 37 students and six teachers was the Lake Awoonga Recreational Area, where they helped release 1,000 Barramundi fingerlings into the lake. The students heard how GAWB restocks various parts of the lake with about 300,000 Barramundi fingerlings each year. The fingerlings are released into areas with lots of weed, for protection and food. The Barra will grow approximately 1mm a day and will reach 50cm within a year.
Next stop was the dam wall, where the students walked through the inside of the spillway and to the top of the dam wall. Tour guide, Dean, showed the students how high the water got during the 2013 floods before taking the students to see the massive pumps which send 1,600 litres of water per second through the pipeline to Gladstone. The students each had a turn winding the valve used for downstream environmental releases.
The students got back on the bus and went into the Gladstone Water Treatment Plant, where the students learned how raw water from Lake Awoonga is treated to make safe drinking water before being distributed to residents and industry in the area. The students showed found where they live on the map of the Lake Awoonga catchment and discussed how water flows through their properties and into the streams that feed the lake.
Last stop was for a bite of lunch at the Yacht Club and a visit to the Fish Hatchery on the banks of Auckland Creek. The students got to see the mummy and daddy Barramundi and Mangrove Jack (brood stock) and watch staff feed the Barramundi fingerlings, like the ones they released that morning.
What a great educational tour GAWB gave these students, the GN team bet all the mums and dads would have heard all about the dam and barra when the kids went home that night.