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 ENVIRONMENTAL 
RESULTS 

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership GHHP report card

AREA: 129.25 km2

 ABOUT THE ZONE 

The Narrows is the northern outlet of the harbour. It connects the harbour to Keppel Bay near the mouth of the Fitzroy River and separates Curtis Island from the mainland. Curtis Island has a number of conservation zones including national parks, regional parks and state forests and is considered to have significant environmental and cultural value. The Narrows is lined by mangroves and saltmarsh, it provides sheltered water and is an important area for recreational and commercial fisheries. This zone has one monitored seagrass meadow—an intertidal meadow comprising aggregated patches of seagrass near Black Swan Island.

This zone has six water and sediment monitoring sites, one seagrass monitoring meadow, four fish monitoring sites, one mud crab monitoring site and two mangrove monitoring sub-zones.

The Narrows_WaterSediment.png

 WATER & SEDIMENT 

WATER

SEDIMENT

The Narrows received an overall water quality score of 0.77 (B). This score was based on the scores for physicochemical (0.79), nutrients (0.51) and dissolved metals (1.00).

 

Sediment quality of The Narrows was very good with an overall score of 0.94 (A).

 MEASURES RESULTS 

WATER

SEDIMENT

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)

No Grade.png

No data available

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

The Narrows 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 satisfactory score for turbidity (0.58) indicating that average turbidity was below the guideline value.

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

The Narrows received a satisfactory overall score for nutrients (0.51). Both total phosphorus (0.63) and total nitrogen (0.52) had satisfactory scores, indicating that average concentrations for these measures were below the guideline values for this zone. In contrast, chlorophyll-a had a poor score (0.37) as the average concentration was above the guideline value.

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership GHHP report card

 HABITATS 

SEAGRASS (MEADOW 21)

The Narrows has one monitored meadow at Black Swan Island. It is an intertidal meadow with variable biomass.

 

The overall score for this meadow was very good (0.94, B), receiving the highest score since GHHP monitoring began. All three sub-indicators showed very good scores—demonstrating the highest meadow biomass since 2010, a very good meadow area and a high presence of the historically dominant species.

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)

No Grade.png

No data available

The overall mangrove condition score was 0.65 (B) indicating a good condition for mangroves. Mangrove extent (0.79) was in a good condition and shoreline condition (0.61) and canopy condition (0.55) were satisfactory.

The overall score in The Narrows improved from 0.56 in 2018 to 0.65 in 2019. However, as with the previous year, evidence of shoreline erosion and indications of scouring and erosion of upland marginal vegetation were observed.

Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership GHHP report card

 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 

The Narrows is lined by mangroves and saltmarsh, provides sheltered water for mud crabs and is an important area for recreational and commercial mud crab fishers.

 

The overall zone score for The Narrows was 0.58 indicating a satisfactory condition for mud crabs. Sub-indicator patterns were mostly stable compared to the previous year, with abundance receiving a very good score (1.00) and sex ratio receiving a very poor score (0.00). The score for prevalence of rust lesions (0.90) was very good.

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