Abbot Bay Catchment

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Smaller subcatchments within the Abbot Bay Catchment include:

  • Elliot River
  • Saltwater Creek
  • Splitters Creek
  • Euri Creek


The major water courses of the Abbot Bay Catchment are the Elliot River and Euri Creek. The Elliot River stretches from the south of this catchment off the MT Aberdeen National Park and Pine Hill (624 metres). The Stockyard Creek and Manning Camp Creek join the Elliot River from the south-west in the vicinity of Mt View. Butchers Creek joins the Elliot River from the East in the vicinity of Glenmore Station. Finley Creek drains off the slopes of Mt Abbot (1056 metres) and unnamed feature (568 metres), into the Elliot River 8 kilometres south of the Bruce Highway


Riparian Habitat

iTRARC analysis of Riparian Habitat indicates that the catchment condition has decreased since the 1970s primarily due to floodplain clearing and an increase in gullying/scalding within the catchment.

iTRARC Scores

Catchment Class 1 B
Maximum iTRARC Score 22 (A+)
1970s Score 11 (B)
2004 Score 6 (C)
Reduction in Ecosystem Services Minor
Increase in Potential for Erosion Moderate
Reasons for Change in Score
  • Increased number of gaps in the riparian corridor of headwater streams
  • Floodplain clearing
  • Increased number of gully/scalds

TRARC (field survey) scores = No TRARC scores for this subcatchment

Reference:Assessing the condition of Riparian Vegetation in the Burdekin catchment


The creek systems of this sub-division are ephemeral, only running for short periods after significant rainfall. The coastal freshwater wetlands are also mostly ephemeral or seasonal. Very little is known about these wetlands ecologically, and any permanent waterholes within the creeks are likely small in size and very vulnerable to disturbance. The Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia listing for this area is predominantly based on marine and estuarine wetlands. The freshwater fish fauna of the Don River was surveyed by Hogan and Vallance (1998) in relation to studies examining the possibility of building a water storage on the river. They found that freshwater fish diversity was limited, this probably being attributable to the ephemeral nature of the streams. This area supports a significant horticultural industry, based largely on groundwater extraction. It has and is still being examined for further irrigation development via a channel/pipeline from the Burdekin River. The potential impacts of such development require significant examination but Butler and Lukacs (1998) outlined some issues identified during a preliminary overview of the areas wetlands. Overall, the freshwater wetlands of the area are poorly known, but due to the types of developments that dominate the region (mostly cattle grazing) the departure from natural is considered to be relatively minor.

Reference: Assessing the condition of Wetlands in the Burdekin catchment

For more information see Abbot Bay Wetland condition summary


SedNet Modelling of Water Quality

Model results for the Abbot Bay subcatchment are summarized as follows:

  • Subcatchment modelled area 838 sq. km.
  • Source contributions: Hillslope = 70%; Gully = 5%; Streambank = 25%
  • Area of subcatchment with <50% ground cover: 104 sq. km or 12% of subcatchment
  • Hillslope sediment supply: 165 kg/ha/yr
  • Total suspended sediment (flow weighted) supply: 72 kt/yr
  • Total suspended supply (flow weighted;normalized to area):828kg/ha/yr
  • Total suspended sediment end-of-subcatchment (flow weighted) yield: 66 kt/yr
  • Event Mean Concentration (EMC - flow weighted): 474 mg/L
  • Mean Annual Flow: 139,025 ML.

Reference: Improved SedNet Modelling of Grazing Land in the Burdekin Catchment

Abbot Bay is one of the smaller of the Burdekin subcatchments (<1000 Hillslope erosion is believed to be the major source of sediment and particulate nutrients influencing water quality within this subcatchment. Loss of sediment and associated particulate nutrients from hillslopes (supply) is considered to be relatively low at 165 kg/ha/yr compared to other subcatchments within the greater Burdekin catchment. The proportion of land with less than 50% ground cover is also relatively low at 12%. The moderate concentrations of sediments are a consequence of the low rainfall and thus, low mean annual flow within this system.

Water Quality Monitoring

The monitoring site in the Abbot Bay (Euri Creek) catchment is located at the Bruce Highway and has been sampled by the NQ Dry Tropics Volunteers program for 2 years (2005/06 and 2006/07 wet seasons). The catchment area for this monitoring site is 421 sq km, of which 82.2% is used for grazing. Suspended sediment concentrations for Euri Creek have been moderate (mean concentration for samples collected of 157 mg/L) compared to other sampling sites located on the coastal plan in the Burdekin Region. The flow-weighted annual load for Euri Creek has been calculated at 12,900 tonnes using the 2 years of monitoring data which is considerably lower the annual load predicted by the SedNet model of 39,400 tonnes.

Relevant information of Water Quality Monitoring:

Environmental Uses and Values

Aquatic Ecosystems

Abbot Bay subcatchment draft HEV waters


Irrigation for horticulture in the eastern fringe of the Abbot Bay catchment.

Stock Watering

Water supply for production of healthy livestock.

Industrial Uses

Abbot Point Coal mine.

Cultural and Spiritual

Custodial use of water resources by Juru traditional owners.


Land Condition

Definition of ABCD land condition framework

No data available for land condition in the Abbot Bay subcatchment.

Ground Cover

No data available for Ground Cover in the Abbot Bay subcatchment.




Abbot Bay Catchments.jpg

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