Issue 42

October 2022

Some would say the Boathouse Pub and Pizzeria is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - © Lynda Wentzel

Sunrise over the Breede Estuary

Mission Statement

The mission of the LBRCT is to conserve and protect in a sustainable manner, the natural resources and living species in the biological and ecologically sensitive Breede River Estuary and the adjoining land areas while at the same time promoting safe and lawful recreational use.

If you take an active interest in, or use, the Breede River Estuary we hope that you will consider becoming a member of the LBRCT and support our endeavours by contributing to these efforts.

What's been keeping us busy?

Student House and Slipway Maintenance

A lease agreement exists between Hessequa Municipality and the LBRCT for the use of one of their Municipal Chalets in the Witsand Middelkamp Campsite. We call this chalet the 'Student House' as it is used for LBRCT students and assistant workers. Due to the harsh conditions at the coast, the building was in desperate need of some TLC. Over the last month our team repainted the roof and walls, fixed up the fascia boards and planted a few trees.

The Government Slipway in front of the Witsand NSRI Station 33 has received a fresh coat of red paint. The lines indicate that no person is allowed to park on the Public Launch Site, especially not in front of a life-saving institution.

Fresh red lines have been painted in front of the NSRI Station in Witsand

Animal Rescues and Snake Removals

Over the last two months the LBRCT has responded to many callouts for animals and residents in need of assistance. A total of 12 snakes were removed from residential properties, including:

  • 1 Cobra
  • 2 Mole snakes
  • 2 Brown house snakes
  • 7 Puff adders


Other animal rescues included:

  • Spotted eagle-owl
  • Egyptian gosling
  • Hawksbill turtle

Here's a short video of some of the animal rescues and snake releases

Get to know your

Fish and Birds of the Breede Estuary

We have installed two educational sign boards on the west bank of the river in loving memory of the late John Tinkler and Anthony dos Santos from Infanta.


The 'Fish of the Breede Estuary' sign is located at Kabeljoubank and the 'Birds of the Breede Estuary' sign can be found at the Moddergat slipway. The images below are too small to read, so please go down to the beach or river to have a good look for yourself.

Breede River Locations Map

Click here to view a map of the Breede River Estuary containing the names of local points of interest, hazardous sandbanks to look out for, public launch sites, boat licence sales outlets and more!

Help out the Enforcement Role-players

Accommodation Needed

Sourcing accommodation along the Breede River Estuary can be challenging, especially when done at the last minute. This is due to the erratic nature of planning compliance operations or responding to reports of transgressions.

The LBRCT would like to appeal to any property owners with private accommodation available should they be willing to assist law enforcement officials in the future. A gesture of this nature will promote the presence of compliance officials on the river and ultimately help to protect our valuable resources.

Please contact the LBRCT if you can help:

028 537 1296 / 064 774 3862

conservation@breede-river.org

Results from the International Coastal Cleanup

At this year's International Coastal Clean-up we took special measures to clean along the estuary banks too, and not just the coastline:


Witsand - 16 September 2022

  • 50 kg rubbish collected
  • 15 bags filled
  • 6 km coastline/estuary cleaned
  • 17 participants


Infanta - 17 September 2022

  • 42 kg rubbish collected
  • 7 bags filled
  • 4 km coastline/estuary cleaned
  • 10 participants

A special thank you to all participants and sponsors, including:

  • Pick n Pay
  • Wimpy Heidelberg
  • Anchorage Witsand
  • Pili Pili Witsand
  • Grunters Malgas
  • Nella se Winkel
  • Plastics SA

Hope for a Critically Endangered Hawksbill Turtle

A massive THANK YOU to our helpers!

On Sunday the 30th of October, the LBRCT received word that a small juvenile turtle was found stranded on the beach near the tidal pool in Witsand. Unbeknown to us at the time, this turtle was extra special as it was later identified as a Critically Endangered Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). A Hawksbills of this size (+- 20 cm) has never been found along the southern coastline before. These turtles nest in tropical regions, such as the Seychelles or Mozambique, so this unlucky juvenile travelled a long way to end up in Witsand!

The LBRCT is a proud Turtle Network Stranding Partner with the Two Oceans Aquarium, whereby we endeavour to receive, stabilise, and arrange safe transport for all strandings in our area. Thank you so much to Jandré Horn for finding and looking after the turtle before handing it over to the LBRCT. And likewise, a big thank you to Stefan Hrabar for transporting the turtle all the way from Malgas to the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town. Your efforts have given us hope for the survival of this Critically Endangered specimen.

What to do if you discover a stranded turtle:

  1. DO NOT PUT IT BACK IN THE WATER!
  2. Place the turtle in a small container on something soft and dry with plenty of air holes (an ice cream container or lunch box is perfect)
  3. Do not remove any barnacles or external growths
  4. Get it to a Rescue Network Partner Organisation ASAP (That's us!)

028 537 1296 / 064 774 3862

Meet our Team

Tertia Meyer

In each issue of our newsletter, we will introduce another member of our team.

Name:

Tertia Meyer

Position:

Administrator

Qualification:

BTech Marketing Management

Residence:

Witsand

Hobbies:

Reading, walking and full-time mom

Tertia Meyer

LBRCT Administrator

Tertia joined us in February 2020 and quickly became an integral member of the Conservancy. Having grown up in the area and working in Witsand for over 10 years she uses her large contact list to ensure that the office administration runs as smoothly as possible. Her day-to-day involves assisting the public, sales management, reconciling the books, and helping the team wherever she can. Over the years she has enjoyed learning about the rich biodiversity present at her doorstep, and is always enthusiastic to learn more.

Monthly Monitoring

Water Quality and Bird Counts

The LBRCT conducts a monthly bird count and water quality run on the Breede River. Both operations are conducted at spring low tide (full moon or new moon). On the water quality run this is to account for the pushing tide increasing the salinity of the water upriver as we travel and test. Whereas the bird count takes place at low tide to observe and record the different species as they forage on the exposed mudflats.


For the latest results please click here.

Please be safe on our river...

Regrettably, a vessel sank on the Breede River during the month October. The reason why the vessel went under remains unclear, however the strong windy conditions at the time may have played a role.

Please ensure that you plan your trip wisely if you intend visiting our large estuary. Being in possession of valid buoyancy and fitness certificates are mandatory for your own safety. Links to wind, weather, and tide tables can be found on our homepage.

This sunken hazard has been removed from the estuary.

Is all your paperwork in order?

Municipal Boat Licence

Recreational boat licences for the Breede River are available from any of our six outlets as well as online (link below). In accordance with the Municipal Financial Year, all licences are valid from the 1st of July 2022 until the 30th of June 2023.


We are happy to announce that Nella se Winkel has reopened as a boat licence sales outlet in Witsand. Their shop has been revamped and is looking great - go and have a look for yourself!

Certificate of Fitness


All boats need to be surveyed annually by an accredited SAMSA surveyor. Here is a list of local surveyors where you can to get your COF renewed:

INTERNALLY APPOINTED SAMSA SURVEYORS:

Mosselbay

  • Paul Vieira 072 587 2963


EXTERNALLY APPOINTED SAMSA SURVEYORS:

Swellendam

  • Trevor Walters 082 758 0467
  • Kevin Casleman 072 672 8900

Stilbaai

  • Jonathan Taylor 082 849 5063

Witsand

  • Johan de Lange 072 201 3195


Fishing Permits

Fishing permits are only available from a Post Office. It is recommended that you purchase your fishing permit before visiting the Breede River as there is often a shortage of forms.

Please remember that Post Offices are closed on Sundays and Public Holidays. If you intend to collect bait or fish from a vessel you are required to tick the relevant boxes.

 

SWELLENDAM:

Swellendam Post Office

Phone: 028 514 1220

Open: Mon – Fri 08:00 – 16:30, Sat 08:00 – 12:00

WITSAND:

The Sands Supermarket

Phone: 028 537 1800

Open: Mon – Sun 07:30 – 16:30

HEIDELBERG:

Heidelberg Post Office

Phone: 028 722 1931

Open: Mon – Fri 08:00 – 16:30, Sat 08:00 – 12:00

We need your help!

Be on the lookout for Water Hyacinth and Parrot Feather

The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) has tasked the LBRCT with identifying hotspot areas of invasive aquatic weeds, specifically Water Hyacinth and Parrot's Feather.

If you know of any large clumps of Water Hyacinth or Parrot's Feather, please take photographs and foward them to the LBRCT together with the location:

028 537 1296 / 064 774 3862 conservation@breede-river.org

This information will be used to determine whether biological control measures (bugs) are appropriate as eradication tools.


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