Skip to content

Condition of riverine ecosystem health

Key Finding

Queensland's freshwater aquatic ecosystems vary significantly in condition. Some are in good to very good condition while others do not meet standards for water quality.

Queensland

Waterways in Queensland are in widely varying condition. Some rivers are nearly untouched while others have been heavily impacted by historic land uses, development and poor land management practices.

Healthy Land and water South East Queensland report card

The Healthy Land and Water South East Queensland Report Card reports on indicators of freshwater health across 18 major catchment areas in South East Queensland (SEQ).

Data on fish, aquatic macroinvertebrates, ecosystem processes, and water quality help assess the overall condition of a waterway.

The 2019 report card gave no overall grade of ecosystem health for Moreton Bay. It did assign varying grades for the freshwater rivers between catchments. Some were in ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ condition while others were ‘poor’, heavily affected by land use and development.

Recent dry conditions have led to ‘very poor’ conditions in the upper and western catchments. In some western catchments, freshwater fish and macroinvertebrate scores are the poorest since the records began in 2001.

Historic and current land management practices have caused loss of riparian, or riverbank, vegetation as land has been cleared to make way for agriculture and urban development.

  • Riparian vegetation provides shade for streams, helping regulate temperature to support freshwater habitat.
  • Riparian vegetation filters out pollutants such as nutrients and sediments, preventing them from entering waterways. It also provides bank stability, helping to mitigate erosion.

More information:

Reef Water Quality report card

The Reef Water Quality Report Card 2017 and 2018 assessed progress towards the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan targets and objectives up to June 2018.

Changes in the extent of wetlands and riparian vegetation is reported every 4 years, wetland condition is reported every 2 years and changes in groundcover is reported annually.

The loss of natural wetlands across the Great Barrier Reef catchments slowed with less than 0.1% loss (556ha) between 2013 and 2017.

  • Rates of wetland loss reduced compared to previous reporting periods in the Fitzroy and Mackay Whitsunday regions.
  • The Cape York region recorded no loss.
  • Moderate losses occurred in the Burdekin, Wet Tropics and Burnett Mary regions.

Losses were primarily the result of changed land management through clearing, draining or infilling wetlands. Modification also occurred with mangrove/salt flat wetlands converted to freshwater wetlands through bunding, particularly in the Burdekin region.

The overall state of freshwater floodplain wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef catchment remained 'moderate'. The state of wetlands within conservation areas was 'good', compared to the moderate state of wetlands surrounded by non-conservation land uses.

The loss of riparian woody vegetation across the Great Barrier Reef catchments increased with 45,467ha (0.74%) loss between 2013 and 2017.

The proportion of grazing land across the Great Barrier Reef catchments with adequate ground cover to reduce erosion was 63%, below the target of 90%, primarily due to many areas being drought declared.

The Paddock to Reef Integrated Monitoring, Modelling and Reporting program (Paddock to Reef program) was reviewed and updated in 2018 to reflect the new targets set in the Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017–2022. Due to the changed targets, some of the 2017–2018 results are not directly be comparable to previous years’ reporting.

More information:

Fitzroy Basin report card

The Fitzroy Basin report card details the condition of the freshwater ecosystems within the Fitzroy Basin, covering 11 catchments: Theresa, Nogoa, Upper and Lower Isaac, Comet, Connors, Mackenzie, Upper and Lower Dawson, Fitzroy and Callide.

Condition is based on indicators related to water quality and aquatic animals. The latest Fitzroy Basin report card, released in 2019, covers the 2017–18 reporting period.

Compared to the 2017 report card, freshwater catchments’ ecosystem health either declined or stayed the same.

  • Declines were linked partly to deterioration in salinity, nutrient and toxicant levels.

While most catchments were in ‘fair’ condition, Lower Isaac, Upper Dawson, Comet and Fitzroy River catchments received a rating of ‘good’.

Variation in the availability of ecology data across the Basin has been identified as a contributing factor to changes in ecosystem health grades from year to year, as is variation in rainfall.  The below average rainfall in the western and central parts of the Basin between 2017 and 2019 may explain why some catchments in these parts declined from ‘good’ in 2017 to ‘fair’ condition in 2019.

This report card also provides an overall condition rating for the Basin. However, as this overall score covers both freshwater and estuarine zones, it is no longer reported under the freshwater wetland ecosystems sub-theme in the Queensland State of the Environment.

Report card naming in the Queensland State of the Environment report refers to the year of report card release, which may differ from the year given in the report card title or the year data group shown on regional report card partnership websites.  Only data for regional report cards released before June 30 2020 are included.

More information:

Gladstone Harbour report card

Freshwater ecosystems are not analysed in this report card area.

More information:

Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac report card

The Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership report card details ecosystem health condition for 5 freshwater basins: Don, Proserpine, O’Connell, Pioneer and Plane.

Condition is assessed based on a combination of water quality, habitat and hydrology and fish community indicators.

The latest Mackay–Whitsunday–Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership report card, released in 2019, covers the 2017–18 reporting period.

Since 2015, most freshwater basins in this region have been in ‘moderate’ condition.

  • Condition of the Proserpine and O’Connell basins has improved from ‘moderate’ in 2016 to ‘good’. This was the result of fish community indicators being used for the first time to assess condition in the Proserpine Basin and actual improvement in fish community condition in the O’Connell Basin.

Habitat and hydrology condition in the Plane and Pioneer basins was assessed as ‘poor’ in the 2019 report card.

  • This was due to a combination of reduced wetland and riparian extent and modified instream habitat.

Low wetland extent is also a feature of the O’Connell Basin.

Flow indicators were used to determine habitat and hydrology condition for the O’Connell and Pioneer freshwater basins.  In both cases, flow condition was ‘good’, meaning that flow variability was close to that expected under natural conditions.

Pesticide levels in freshwater basins continue to be of concern, particularly in the Plane and Pioneer basins.

Both nutrient and pesticide levels have increased in the O’Connell Basin, causing water quality to decline from ‘good’ in 2016 to ‘moderate’ in 2018.

Water quality for the Don Basin has only been assessed in the 2016–17 and 2017–18 reporting periods and ranged between ‘moderate’ in 2018 and ‘good’ in 2019.

Report card naming in the Queensland State of the Environment report refers to the year of report card release, which may differ from the year given in the report card title or the year data group shown on regional report card partnership websites. Only data for regional report cards released before June 30 2020 are included.

More information:

Wet Tropics Waterways report card

The Wet Tropics Waterways report card details the ecosystem health of 9 freshwater basins: Daintree, Mossman, Barron, Mulgrave, Russell, Johnstone, Tully, Murray and Herbert.

Condition is assessed using a combination of water quality, habitat and hydrology, and fish community indicators.

The latest Wet Tropics Waterways report card, released in 2019, covers the 2017–18 reporting period.

Between the 2017 and 2019 report cards, most freshwater basins were in ‘good’ condition, while the Daintree Basin was in ‘very good’ condition.

  • This shows improvement compared to the 2016 pilot report card, when most basins were in ‘moderate’ condition and the Daintree Basin was only in ‘good’ condition.
  • This improvement partly reflects less sediment, nutrient and pesticide run-off due to reduced annual rainfall in the region, as well as a greater range and type of indicators used to assess freshwater ecosystem health in recent years.

The Murray Basin has remained consistently in ‘moderate’ condition since 2016.  This may be because condition for this basin is assessed only in terms of habitat and hydrology due to insufficient data for other indices. The freshwater ecosystem habitat and hydrology index comprised 4 longer-term indicator categories that are only updated every 4 years and were not updated since 2016.

Report card naming in the Queensland State of the Environment report refers to the year of report card release, which may differ from the year given in the report card title or the year data group shown on regional report card partnership websites. Only data for regional report cards released before June 30 2020 are included.

More information:

Townsville Dry Tropics report card

Townsville Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters produced a pilot report card in 2019, covering the 2017–18 financial year period.

The report does not include an overall rating for ecosystem health condition in the freshwater zones of Ross Basin and Black Basin.

Biodiversity (aggregation of wetland and riparian extent) was rated ‘good’ in Black Basin and ‘moderate’ in Ross Basin.

  • Protected areas in Black Basin maintain habitat in ‘good’ condition whereas urbanisation of Ross Basin has resulted in greater habitat degradation.

Water quality (based on physical-chemical and nutrient indicators) was rated as ‘moderate’ in both basins.

  • The reported phosphorus levels require further examination as levels were high in some parts.

Report card naming in the Queensland State of the Environment report refers to the year of report card release, which may differ from the year given in the report card title or the year data group shown on regional report card partnership websites. Only data for regional report cards released before June 30 2020 are included.

More information:

QCatchment Archer

The Archer catchment is on the western coast of Cape York, draining to the Gulf of Carpentaria near Aurukun.

Field-collected data measuring riverine ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed from 4 Archer catchment sites.

Key threats for Archer catchment were:

  • introduced riparian flora (e.g. rubbervine, sicklepod)
  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs, unfenced stock)
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

While the Archer’s riverine ecosystems gained an overall rating of ‘good’ condition, introduced riparian flora poses a ‘severe’ threat, as only 1 of the 4 sites was free of weeds.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of impacts from feral pigs and cattle at all sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced aquatic fauna condition was ranked as ‘good’, with no pest fish species detected in this assessment, or in any previous surveys.  While neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted at any sites, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Bulloo

Conceptual models are used to determine catchment specific condition indicators based on the relevant pressures in the catchment.

Key threats identified for the Bulloo catchment were:

  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • deposited sediment
  • introduced riparian vegetation.

Indicators of ecosystem condition relevant to these threats were assessed where possible.

Overall the condition of riverine ecosystems in the Bulloo in 2012 was ranked as ‘slightly disturbed’.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no exotic fish or crayfish found during monitoring.

Deposited sediment was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no loss of waterhole persistence from sediment deposition in the waterholes surveyed.

Introduced riparian fauna was ranked as ‘slightly disturbed’ with some physical damage to waterhole banks observed from feral pigs and cattle.

More information:

QCatchment Burdekin

An ecological risk assessment of threats to waterways in the Burdekin catchment identified 5 high risk threats for the region.

The key threats identified for the Burdekin catchment were:

  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • introduced riparian fauna
  • introduced riparian flora
  • increased nutrients
  • deposited sediment.

The current condition of threats was not determined in this risk assessment but may be in future reports.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘high’ risk in the Burdekin catchment, relating specifically to pest fish such as tilapia species and Eastern gambusia.

Introduced riparian fauna was ranked as ‘high’ risk in the Burdekin catchment, primarily feral pigs and cattle access to riverbanks and beds.

Introduced riparian flora was ranked as a ‘moderate’ risk in the Burdekin catchment, with a high presence of riparian weeds in intensively developed areas.

The level of nutrients entering riverine ecosystems of the Burdekin due to human activities was ranked as ‘high’ risk. Coastal agriculture is the primary diffuse source of dissolved inorganic nitrogen, while sewage treatment plant discharge is the greatest urban nutrient source.

Deposited sediment was ranked as ‘high’ risk across the Burdekin, primarily due to grazing-induced erosion.

More information:

QCatchment Coleman

The Coleman catchment is on the western coast of Cape York, and includes several river systems including the Coleman and Edward.

Field-collected data from 5 sites was used to assess Coleman catchment ecosystem response to identified threats (where possible).

Key threats identified for the Coleman catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs, unfenced stock)
  • introduced riparian flora (e.g. rubbervine, sicklepod)
  • introduced aquatic flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

The QCatchments overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Coleman catchment was ‘minor disturbance’.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of impacts from pigs and cattle at all sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora condition was ranked as ‘minor disturbance’, given light infestations of rubbervine and sicklepod at some sites.

Introduced aquatic flora condition was assessed as being in ‘good’ condition. No infestations were noted at assessment sites.

Introduced aquatic fauna condition was ranked as ‘good’, with no pest fish species detected at assessment sites. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Ducie

The Ducie catchment is on the north-west coast of Cape York, and drains to the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 4 Ducie catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Ducie catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs, unfenced stock)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

The QCatchments overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Ducie catchment was ‘good’ condition.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of impacts at sites, some change in instream flora and fauna community structure is expected.

Introduced riparian flora condition was assessed as being in ‘good’ condition (no infestations of weed species at assessment sites).

Introduced aquatic flora condition was assessed as being in ‘good’ condition (no infestations at assessment sites).

Introduced aquatic fauna condition was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no pest fish species detected at assessment sites. Although neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted at any sites, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Endeavour

The Endeavour catchment is on the eastern coast of Cape York, and includes the Endeavour and Annan river systems. Cooktown is the major urban centre.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed from 4 Endeavour catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Endeavour catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • introduced aquatic flora.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Endeavour catchment was ‘moderate disturbance’.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of impacts (ranging from severe to almost pristine) at sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Riparian flora condition was assessed as having ‘moderate disturbance’ (with various introduced weed species identified at assessment sites, e.g. lantana, rubbervine, sicklepod)

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no pest fish species detected at assessment sites. Tilapia have previously been sampled in the Endeavour: confirmation of continued existence would impact condition. Although neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted at any sites, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

Introduced aquatic flora was assessed as being in ‘good’ condition (no introduced aquatic flora infestations at assessment sites).

More information:

QCatchment Holroyd

The Holroyd catchment is on the west coast of Cape York, and drains into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 3 Holroyd catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Holroyd catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs, unfenced stock)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Holroyd catchment was ‘minor disturbance’.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of impacts from feral pigs and cattle at all sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora condition was assessed as having ‘minor disturbance’, with low level infestation of sicklepod identified at 2 assessment sites. Threat from weeds was ‘severe’.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no pest fish species detected at assessment sites in this assessment, or previous surveys. Cane toads were sighted and are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

The assessment also identified apparent impacts on water clarity (turbidity) downstream of a road crossing, and noted the role played by groundwater inputs to streams during dry flow conditions (refuge values).

More information:

QCatchment Jacky Jacky

The Jacky Jacky catchment is on the north-east coast of Cape York.  It includes the Jacky Jacky and Harmer creeks, Escape River and numerous smaller coastal streams.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 3 Jacky Jacky catchment sites. An additional site was assessed for water quality.

Key threats identified for the Jacky Jacky catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Jacky Jacky catchment was ‘good’ condition. Other than moderate levels of feral pig damage, excellent scores were recorded in all other field measurements.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of feral pig impacts, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘good’ condition, with no infestations of priority weed species present at any of the assessment sites.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no previous record of pest fish species, and none detected at sites in this assessment.  While neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Jardine

The Jardine catchment is the northern-most catchment on the Australian mainland, at the tip of Cape York. It drains in a north-westerly direction into Torres Strait. The Jardine River is the largest perennial river in Queensland.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 4 Jardine catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Jardine catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Jardine catchment was ‘good’ condition.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of feral pig impacts at all sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘good’ condition, with no infestations of priority weed species present at any of the assessment sites.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no pest fish species detected at assessment sites in this assessment, or in previous surveys.  While neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Jeannie

The Jeannie catchment is on the east coast of Cape York and includes the Jeannie and Starcke river systems.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystems responses to identified threats was assessed at 1 Jeannie catchment site.

Key threats identified for the Jeannie catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Jeannie catchment was ‘good’ condition.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. With no evidence of cattle damage and only minor evidence of feral pig impacts, there is expected to be little change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘good’ condition, with no infestations of priority weed species present at the assessment site.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no pest fish species detected in this assessment. Cane toad eggs were found at the site. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Lake Eyre

An ecological risk assessment of threats to waterways in the province identified 3 threats for further investigation.

Key threats identified in the Lake Eyre and Bulloo Province were:

  • introduced riparian fauna
  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • introduced riparian weeds.

Indicators of ecosystem condition relevant to these threats were assessed where possible.

No overall condition score was provided for the Lake Eyre and Bulloo Province.

No condition indicators were measured for introduced riparian fauna although both feral pig and cattle damage to waterhole banks and riparian zones was found to be widespread in 2013 with few sites unaffected.

While the Georgina and Cooper rivers were ranked as ‘slightly disturbed’ due to the spread of introduced aquatic fauna, the Bulloo and Diamantina were in ‘good’ condition with 100% native species. There is still a diverse and abundant native fish community in place across the province.


While no condition indicators were measured for introduced riparian weeds, all catchments in the Lake Eyre and Bulloo Province were assessed as being at ‘moderate’ risk of riparian weed disturbance, based on the types of land use surrounding waterholes.
More information:

QCatchment Lockhart

The Lockhart catchment is on the east coast of Cape York and includes the Lockhart, Claudie and Nesbit rivers.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 3 Lockhart River catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Lockhart catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Lockhart catchment was ‘good’ condition.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of feral pig impacts at 2 sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘good’ condition, with no infestations of priority weed species present at the assessment sites. Weeds including sicklepod, grader grass, giant rat’s tail grass, pond apple are known to be in the catchment.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition with no pest fish species detected in this assessment, or in previous surveys. A cane toad was sighted at 1 site. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Nebine

Conceptual models are used to determine catchment specific indicators based on the relevant pressures in the catchment.

Key threats identified for the Nebine catchment were:

  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • deposited sediment
  • introduced riparian vegetation.

Overall the condition of riverine ecosystems in the Nebine in 2012 was ranked as ‘moderately disturbed’.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as in ‘moderate’ condition, bordering on ‘severe’ condition, with a high proportion of exotic fish (mostly European carp) caught at most assessment sites.

Deposited sediment was ranked as in ‘good’ condition with no loss of waterhole persistence from sediment deposition in waterholes surveyed.

Introduced riparian fauna was ranked as in ‘slightly disturbed’ condition with some physical damage to water banks from feral pigs and cattle.

More information:

QCatchment Normanby

The Normanby catchment is located in the south-east of Cape York. It is one of the largest east coast river systems in Australia and drains to Princess Charlotte Bay, north-west of Cooktown.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem response to identified threats was assessed at 6 Normanby catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Normanby catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. cattle, feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Normanby catchment was ‘moderate disturbance’.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of cattle and feral pig impacts at sites, there is expected to be some change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘moderate disturbance’, with significant and widespread infestations of lantana, rubbervine and sicklepod weed species at assessment sites.

Introduced aquatic flora was assessed as being in ‘good’ condition (no introduced aquatic flora infestations at assessment sites).

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘minor disturbance’ to condition, with goldfish in the upper east Normanby, and cane toads or their tadpoles at most assessment sites. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.) This area is a ‘high’ risk for other introductions, including tilapia.

More information:

QCatchment Olive–Pascoe

The Olive–Pascoe catchment is located on the east coast of Cape York, and includes the Olive, Pascoe and Claudie rivers.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 4 Olive Pascoe catchment sites.

Key threats identified for the Olive–Pascoe catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. cattle, feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna.

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Olive–Pascoe catchment was ‘minor disturbance’.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of low level cattle and feral pig impacts at some sites, there is expected to be little change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘minor disturbance’.  Weeds (including rubbervine and sicklepod) were found at light levels of infestation at 3 monitored sites. Current threat of introduced riparian flora to the Olive–Pascoe was assessed as ‘severe’, given widespread presence and potential for quick change in condition.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition, with no pest fish species identified in this assessment, or in previous surveys.  Although neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Paroo

Conceptual models are used to determine catchment specific condition indicators based on the relevant pressures in the catchment.

Key threats identified for the Paroo catchment were:

  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • deposited sediment
  • introduced riparian vegetation.

Indicators of ecosystem condition relevant to these threats were assessed where possible.

Overall the condition of riverine ecosystems in the Paroo in 2012 was ranked as ‘moderately disturbed’.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as in ‘severe’ condition with European carp caught at all assessment sites and goldfish at most assessment sites.

Deposited sediment was ranked as in ‘good’ condition with no loss of waterhole persistence from sediment deposition in waterholes surveyed.

Introduced riparian fauna was ranked as in ‘slightly disturbed’ condition with some physical damage to waterhole banks observed from feral pigs and cattle.

More information:

QCatchment Eastern Murray Darling

Conceptual models are used to determine catchment specific indicators based on the relevant pressures in the catchment.

Key threats identified for the Queensland Eastern Murray–Darling (QEMD) catchments were:

  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • deposited sediment
  • introduced riparian fauna.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘moderate disturbance’ condition across the QEMD catchments largely based on the presence of European carp, with a ‘severe disturbance’ ranking in the Moonie River Catchment. Thus, on average introduced aquatic fauna was assessed as ‘moderate disturbance’ condition for QEMD catchments.

Deposited sediment was ranked as ‘moderate disturbance’ condition across the QEMD catchments with a ‘severe disturbance’ ranking in the Moonie River Catchment. Thus, on average deposited sediment was assessed as ‘moderate disturbance’ condition for QEMD catchments.

Introduced riparian fauna was ranked as ‘minor disturbance’ condition across the QEMD catchments with riparian stream bank damage mostly from cattle, followed by feral pig, and goat.

Introduced riparian flora condition was not assessed.

More information:

QCatchment Stewart

The Stewart catchment is located on the east coast of Cape York, and includes the Stewart, Rocky and Massey rivers, and Breakfast Creek.

Field-collected data measuring ecosystem responses to identified threats was assessed at 2 Stewart catchments sites.

Key threats identified for the Stewart catchment were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. cattle, feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna

Overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Stewart catchment was ‘good’ condition.

Condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed. Based on evidence of minor impacts at sites (mainly from feral pigs), there is expected to be little change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘good’ condition, with no infestations of priority weeds evident at the monitoring sites.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition, with no pest fish species identified in this assessment, or in previous surveys.  Cane toad adults were sighted in very high numbers at 1 site. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

QCatchment Warrego

Conceptual models are used to determine catchment specific condition indicators based on the relevant pressures in the catchment.

Key threats for the Warrego catchment relevant were:

  • introduced aquatic fauna
  • deposited sediment
  • introduced riparian vegetation.

Indicators of ecosystem condition relevant to these threats were assessed where possible.

Overall the condition of riverine ecosystems in the Warrego in 2012 was ranked as ‘moderately disturbed’.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as in ‘moderate’ condition with high carp biomass (weight) recorded at many sites.

Deposited sediment was ranked as in ‘moderate’ condition, the persistence of waterholes over time was impacted at 2 sites by deposited sediment.

Introduced riparian fauna was ranked as in ‘slightly disturbed’ condition with some physical damage to water banks from feral pigs and cattle.

More information:

QCatchment Wenlock

The Wenlock catchment is located on the west coast of Cape York, and includes the Wenlock River and various smaller creeks.

Field-collected data at 8 sites was used to measure ecosystem response to identified threats (where possible).

Key threats identified were:

  • introduced riparian fauna (e.g. cattle, feral pigs)
  • introduced riparian flora
  • introduced aquatic flora
  • introduced aquatic fauna

The QCatchments overall rating of riverine ecosystems in the Wenlock catchment was ‘good’ condition.

While condition of river systems associated with introduced riparian fauna was not assessed, evidence of minor impacts at sites suggests little change in instream flora and fauna community structure.

Introduced riparian flora was assessed as having ‘minor disturbance’, due to localised infestations of rubbervine and sicklepod at the monitoring sites, however riparian weeds are the main threat to riverine ecology in the Wenlock.

Introduced aquatic flora was assessed as being in ‘good’ condition (no introduced aquatic flora infestations at assessment sites), however there are anecdotal reports of water hyacinth in this catchment, and water lettuce has been identified in adjoining catchments.

Introduced aquatic fauna was ranked as ‘good’ condition, with no pest fish species identified in this assessment.  Although neither cane toads nor their tadpoles were not sighted at any of the sites, they are known to occur in the catchment. (The presence of cane toads is not reflected in the condition scores because of their extensive presence across Cape York.)

More information:

Relevant Sustainable Development Goals’ targets

  • GOAL 3: GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING
  • GOAL 6: CLEAN WATER AND SANITATION
  • GOAL 12: RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
  • GOAL 15: LIFE ON LAND

Report card grades

Report card does not provide an overall grade.

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades

Report card does not provide an overall grade.

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades

Report card does not provide an overall grade.

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades

Report card does not provide an overall grade.

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades

Report card does not provide an overall grade.

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades

Report card does not provide an overall grade.

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades

No data available for this region.

No data available for this region.

No data available for this region.

No data available for this region.

QCatchment Bulloo

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Bulloo

YearGrade
2012Minor Disturbance

QCatchment Paroo

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Paroo

YearGrade
2012Moderate Disturbance

QCatchment Warrego

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Warrego

YearGrade
2012Moderate Disturbance

QCatchment Nebine

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Nebine

YearGrade
2012Moderate Disturbance

QCatchment Archer

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Archer

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Coleman

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Coleman

YearGrade
2014Minor Disturbance

QCatchment Ducie

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Ducie

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Endeavour

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Endeavour

YearGrade
2014Moderate Disturbance

QCatchment Holroyd

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Holroyd

YearGrade
2014Minor Disturbance

QCatchment Jacky Jacky

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Jacky Jacky

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Jardine

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Jardine

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Jeannie

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Jeannie

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Lockhart

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Lockhart

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Normanby

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Normanby

YearGrade
2014Moderate Disturbance

QCatchment Olive-Pascoe

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Olive-Pascoe

YearGrade
2014Minor Disturbance

QCatchment Stewart

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Stewart

YearGrade
2014Good

QCatchment Wenlock

See also: Freshwater wetland ecosystems assessment summary.

Report card grades in QCatchment Wenlock

YearGrade
2014Good

Select indicators

Upper Brisbane

Report card grades in Upper Brisbane

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015D
2016D
2017D
2018D
2019D
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Lockyer

Report card grades in Lockyer

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015D+
2016D+
2017D+
2018D+
2019D
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Stanley

Report card grades in Stanley

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015B
2016B
2017B-
2018B
2019B-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Mid Brisbane

Report card grades in Mid Brisbane

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015D
2016D+
2017B-
2018C-
2019C+
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Bremer

Report card grades in Bremer

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015D-
2016D+
2017D-
2018D+
2019D+
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Tallebudgera–Currumbin

Report card grades in Tallebudgera–Currumbin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C+
2016B
2017B-
2018B
2019B+
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Pine

Report card grades in Pine

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C
2016B-
2017B-
2018B-
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Albert

Report card grades in Albert

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C-
2016C+
2017C
2018C
2019B-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Logan

Report card grades in Logan

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015D
2016C-
2017C-
2018C-
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Lower Brisbane

Report card grades in Lower Brisbane

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C-
2016C-
2017D+
2018D+
2019C-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Redland

Report card grades in Redland

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C+
2016C+
2017C+
2018C
2019C+
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Noosa

Report card grades in Noosa

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015A-
2016A-
2017A-
2018A-
2019A-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Maroochy

Report card grades in Maroochy

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C+
2016B
2017B-
2018B-
2019B-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Mooloolah

Report card grades in Mooloolah

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C+
2016B
2017B-
2018C+
2019C+
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Caboolture

Report card grades in Caboolture

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C+
2016B
2017B
2018B+
2019B+
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Pimpama–Coomera

Report card grades in Pimpama–Coomera

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C+
2016B
2017B-
2018B
2019B-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Nerang

Report card grades in Nerang

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015C-
2016C
2017C-
2018C+
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Pumicestone Passage

Report card grades in Pumicestone Passage

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2015B-
2016B+
2017A-
2018B+
2019A-
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Select indicators

Theresa Catchment

Report card grades in Theresa Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013C
2014C
2015C
2016B
2017B
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Nogoa Catchment

Report card grades in Nogoa Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012B
2013B
2014B
2015B
2016B
2017B
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Upper Isaac Catchment

Report card grades in Upper Isaac Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013C
2014C
2015C
2016C
2017B
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Lower Isaac Catchment

Report card grades in Lower Isaac Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012B
2013B
2014B
2015B
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Comet Catchment

Report card grades in Comet Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013C
2014C
2015C
2016B
2017B
2018C
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Connors Catchment

Report card grades in Connors Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013C
2014B
2015B
2016C
2017C
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Mackenzie Catchment

Report card grades in Mackenzie Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013C
2014C
2015B
2016C
2017C
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Upper Dawson Catchment

Report card grades in Upper Dawson Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012B
2013B
2014B
2015B
2016B
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Lower Dawson Catchment

Report card grades in Lower Dawson Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013B
2014C
2015B
2016B
2017B
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Fitzroy Catchment

Report card grades in Fitzroy Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013B
2014B
2015B
2016B
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Callide Catchment

Report card grades in Callide Catchment

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2012C
2013C
2014C
2015C
2016C
2017C
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Select indicators

Herbert Basin

Report card grades in Herbert Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Murray Basin

Report card grades in Murray Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017C
2018C
2019C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Tully Basin

Report card grades in Tully Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Johnstone Basin

Report card grades in Johnstone Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Russell Basin

Report card grades in Russell Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Mulgrave Basin

Report card grades in Mulgrave Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Barron Basin

Report card grades in Barron Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017B
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Mossman Basin

Report card grades in Mossman Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017C
2018B
2019B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Daintree Basin

Report card grades in Daintree Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016B
2017A
2018A
2019A
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Select indicators

Ross Basin

Report card grades in Ross Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2019Not recorded

Black Basin

Report card grades in Black Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2019Not recorded

Select indicators

Don Basin

Report card grades in Don Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2014C
2015C
2016C
2017C
2018C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Proserpine Basin

Report card grades in Proserpine Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2014C
2015C
2016C
2017C
2018B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

O’Connell Basin

Report card grades in O’Connell Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2014C
2015C
2016C
2017B
2018B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Pioneer Basin

Report card grades in Pioneer Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2014D
2015C
2016C
2017C
2018C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Plane Basin

Report card grades in Plane Basin

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2014D
2015C
2016C
2017C
2018C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Select indicators

Loss of extent of natural wetlands

Report card grades for Loss of extent of natural wetlands

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2010B
2014B
2017 & 2018B
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Loss of extent of natural wetlands

  • Chart
  • Table
YearHectares
2010443
2014620
2017 & 2018556

Loss of extent of natural wetlands

YearPercent
2010<0.1%
2014<0.1%
2017 & 2018<0.1%

State of Freshwater Wetland Condition

Report card grades for State of Freshwater Wetland Condition

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2016C
2017 & 2018C
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Loss of riparian vegetation extent

Report card grades for Loss of riparian vegetation extent

  • Chart
  • Table
YearGrade
2010C
2014C
2017 & 2018D
N.B. The range of measures that is used to create the grade may have changed over the years.

Loss of riparian vegetation extent

  • Chart
  • Table
YearHectares
201025,243
201424,967
2017 & 201845,467

Loss of riparian vegetation extent

YearPercent
20100.41%
20140.41%
2017 & 20180.74%

Area with target ground cover

Area with target ground cover

YearGrade
2017 & 2018D

Area with target ground cover

YearArea with target ground cover (%)
2017 & 201863

Download data from Queensland Government data

Metadata

Condition of riverine ecosystem health identified in various water quality report card areas across Queensland.