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 ENVIRONMENTAL 
RESULTS 

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AREA: 0.75 km2

 ABOUT THE ZONE 

Boat Creek is a small mangrove-lined estuary connected to the western side of the Western Basin. This long (approximately 9km), narrow water body is not well flushed during regular tides. It is a small zone that only includes approximately 2km of waterway and a small open harbour area near the mouth.

 

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

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 WATER & SEDIMENT 

WATER

SEDIMENT

Boat Creek received an overall water quality score of 0.78 (B). This score was based on the scores for physicochemical (0.82), nutrients (0.54) and dissolved metals (0.98).

 

Sediment quality of Boat Creek was very good with an overall score of 0.89 (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

Boat Creek 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 good score for turbidity (0.65) indicating that average turbidity was below the guideline value.

All six dissolved metals received very good scores (0.90-1.00) indicating that average concentrations were well below the water quality guideline values.

Boat Creek received a satisfactory overall score for nutrients (0.54). Total phosphorus had a satisfactory score (0.55) while chlorophyll-a had a good score (0.66), indicating that average concentrations for these measures were below the guideline values for this zone. In contrast, total nitrogen had a poor score (0.41) as the average concentration was above the guideline value.

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 Boat Creek was 0.46 (D) indicating a poor condition. Mangrove extent (0.54) was satisfactory and canopy condition (0.38) and shoreline condition (0.46) were poor.

The overall score for Boat Creek fell from 0.63 in 2018 to 0.46 in 2019. This was largely a result of changes in canopy condition where the score declined from 0.61 in 2018 to 0.38 and a decline in shoreline condition from 0.63 to 0.46 in 2019. This may reflect the impacts off decreased rainfall over the reporting year and increased shoreline erosion.

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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 

Boat Creek is a small mangrove-lined estuary connected to the western side of the Western Basin.

 

The overall zone score for Boat Creek was 0.60 indicating a satisfactory condition for mud crabs. While a continued decline from 2020 score of 0.71, the 2022 score at Boat Creek was still an improvement from scores received in 2018 and 2019 (0.48–0.51). In 2022, abundance (0.43) and sex ratio (0.32) received poor scores. Both sub-indicators had lower scores than the previous year. In contrast, the very good score for prevalence of rust lesions (0.98) indicated a very low incidence of this condition in Boat Creek.

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