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 ENVIRONMENTAL 
RESULTS 

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership GHHP report card

AREA: 1.33 km2

 ABOUT THE ZONE 

Auckland Inlet is a tidal inlet that connects to the Inner Harbour through a complex of small streams meandering through mangrove-lined mudflats that are often inundated at high tide. Seawater extracted from Auckland Creek is used to cool the Gladstone Power Station. Stormwater run-off outlets are located along Auckland Creek.

This zone has five water and sediment monitoring sites, one fish monitoring site, one mud crab monitoring site and one mangrove monitoring sub-zone.

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership GHHP report card

 WATER & SEDIMENT 

WATER

SEDIMENT

Auckland Inlet received an overall water quality score of 0.78 (B). This score was based on the scores for physicochemical (0.74), nutrients (0.64) and dissolved metals (0.95).

 

Sediment quality of Auckland Inlet was very good with an overall score of 0.95 (A).

 MEASURES RESULTS 

WATER

SEDIMENT

pH = acidity    TN = Total nitrogen   TP = Total phosphorus   Chl-a = Chlorophyll-a   Al = Aluminum   Cu = Copper   Pb = Lead   Mn = Magnesium   Ni = Nickel   Zn = Zinc

As = Arsenic   Cd = Cadmium   Cu = Copper   Hg = Mercury   Pb = Lead   Ni = Nickel   Zn = Zinc

Very good (0.85-1.00)

Poor (0.25-0.49)

Good (0.65-0.84)

Satisfactory (0.5-0.64)

Very Poor (0.00-0.24)

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No data available

Auckland Inlet received a very good score of 1.00 for pH indicating that the average pH was well within the guideline value range. This zone received a poor score for turbidity (0.49) indicating that average turbidity was above the guideline value.

All six dissolved metals received very good scores (0.85-1.00) indicating that average concentrations were well below the water quality guideline values.

 

Auckland Inlet received a satisfactory overall score for nutrients (0.64). Total phosphorus (0.70) and chlorophyll-a (0.72) received good scores while total nitrogen had a satisfactory score (0.50), indicating that average concentrations for these measures were below the guideline values for this zone.

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership GHHP report card

 HABITATS 

MANGROVE RESULTS

Very good (0.85-1.00)

Good (0.65-0.84)

Satisfactory (0.5-0.64)

Poor (0.25-0.49)

Very Poor (0.00-0.24)

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No data available

The overall zone score for Auckland Inlet was 0.65 (B) indicating a good condition for mangroves in this zone. This score was similar to the score of 0.68 recorded in 2018.

Mangrove extent (0.76) was good and canopy condition (0.57) and shoreline condition (0.62) were satisfactory. 

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 FISH & CRABS 

 FISH HEALTH RESULTS 

HARBOUR SCORE

OVERALL VISUAL FISH CONDITION: HARBOUR SCORE

VISUAL FISH CONDITION: HARBOUR SCORE

FISH HEALTH ASSESSMENT INDEX: HARBOUR SCORE

Very good (0.85-1.00)

Good (0.65-0.84)

Satisfactory (0.5-0.64)

Poor (0.25-0.49)

Very Poor (0.00-0.24)

No Grade.png

No data available

Fish Health (Overall)

The overall score calculated for fish health in 2022 was 0.80 (B), which is an average of the scores for Fish Condition 0.72 (B) and the Health Assessment Index 0.90 (A).

Visual Fish Condition:

The overall score for Fish Condition (0.72) is an average of 0.97 (A) for Fish Visual Condition (FVC) and 0.47 (D) for Fish Body Condition (FBC).

 

The high scores for FVC are a result of a low incidence of poor visual health. All fish species assessed for this metric received very good scores ranging from 0.90 (A) to 0.98 (A). This result was similar to the HAI scores for external measures where a very low number of external health issues were recorded.

 

The poor score for FBC in 2022 was a result of poor scores for yellow-finned bream (0.43), pikey bream (0.46) dusky flathead (0.43), and barred javelin (0.44). Almost all species assessed had a mean body condition below the long-term average (2003 – 2021). However, the remaining species assessed, mangrove jack, had a satisfactory score of 0.50.

Fish Health Assessment Index (HAI):

The overall HAI score for Gladstone Harbour was 0.90 (A), as data from the 2021 Gladstone Harbour Report Card was reused.

 

This was comprised of scores from five fish species, barramundi 0.98 (A), barred javelin 0.90 (A) and blue catfish 0.81 (B), bream 0.98 (A) and mullet 0.81 (B).

 

In general, the surveyed fish species showed very few signs of external health issues, a similar result to the Fish Visual Condition sub-indicator. Scores for internal organs were also low indicating good to very good fish health.

 FISH RECRUITMENT RESULTS 

Fish recruitment was assessed for two species: yellow-finned bream Acanthopagrus australis and pikey bream Acanthopagrus pacificus. The overall score for 2022 was 0.57 (C) similar to the 2020 score of 0.62. The final scores were measured against a 2012 to 2021 baseline. The 2022 score for fish recruitment indicates a season with higher recruitment rate (increased catch rate) relative to the mean reference level determined over the baseline period. The total number of bream caught in the 2022 reporting year was 764, 316 yellow-finned bream and 448 pikey bream.

 MUD CRAB RESULTS 

Auckland Inlet is a tidal inlet that connects to the Inner Harbour through a complex network of small streams meandering through mangrove-lined mudflats that are often inundated at high tide.

 

Only one mud crab was caught in Auckland Creek over the two sampling rounds. As such the overall score, sex ratio and prevalence of rust lesions could not be calculated owing to the insufficient sample size. Abundance was scored as very poor (0.00). To note, less than five crabs were caught in this zone over the two sampling periods for the fifth consecutive year.

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