Tag Archives: River Derwent

Not for human consumption

Today’s ABC News Online gives us the headline suggesting an exciting story – “Amateur dive photographer shares snaps of Hobart’s hidden underwater world”.

We are told “Under the surface of the River Derwent you’ll find an otherwise hidden and surprising colourful world of marine creatures.” Accompanying the story are photos of divers and underwater creatures.  Quite startling is the beauty of what divers can see. Wonderful.  The gorgeous photo of a crayfish by Millie Banner attracted my attention – who doesn’t love eating a crayfish. However, “… heavy metal levels in the river make them not safe to eat.”  So please do not go down deep seeking a feed from the waters under the Tasman Bridge.  Besides the river currents might sweep you out to sea.  Maybe.

From the sea to the source; stories of a river on the other side of the globe

Two years ago, Helen Ivison published River Derwent: From Sea to Source (Amberley Publishing).

 Ivison River Derwent

 The promotional puff declares this book ‘brings to light tales and stories of fascinating events, landmarks and people. River Derwent: From Sea to Source is essential reading for anyone who knows this river well, and also for those who are visiting the River Derwent for the first time.’  But what is the author referring to?

Hers is the Derwent River in the Cumbrian region of England which flows from the mountainous Lakes District in two strands, one of which starts near Styhead Tarn. The two strands meet at Grains Gill, and continue in a north easterly direction as a single river towards an expanse known as Derwent Water. The river passes through this ‘lake’ then eases into a north westerly direction across country before flowing onwards through Bassenthwaite Lake. Finally, the English Derwent River turns westwards and empties into the Irish Sea.

By contrast Tasmania’s Derwent River flows generally in a south easterly direction from Lake St Clair, through steep narrow gorges, curving around farmlands, before passing between the two sides of the Greater Hobart Area into Storm Bay. The man-made lakes of Lake King William, Wayatinah Lagoon, Lake Catagunya, Lake Repulse, Cluny Lagoon and Meadowbank Lake all disrupt the progress of the River. These lakes have resulted from dam building as part of hydro-electricity generating projects over the past century.