Stuart Creek - Townsville Catchment

From Dry Tropics Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Stuart Creek is located 10 km south of the centre of Townsville City, it is bisected by the Bruce Highway. Stuart Creek is an important native fish biodiversity refuge as it is the last freshwater system within the Ross River basin that retains open estuarine connections. Furthermore, the creek retains exceptional water quality and native aquatic plant diversity which supports a diverse range of aquatic fauna. Of creeks that drain into Cleveland Bay, Stuart Creek has the only remaining freshwater wetland habitat with connectivity for native fish.

Stuart Creek is a distributary system on the floodplain. Below the Bruce Highway it becomes indistinct and has numerous flow paths. There is a network of small freshwater wetlands above the tidal limit with some including Stuart Creek above the highway maintaining permanent deep water areas that are refuges for many species.

The site has diverse, endangered and restored riparian regional ecosystems, with these remnant areas representing the best examples of their type remaining within Townsville City limits. They include endangered Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) and Paperbark (Melaleuca spp.) ecosystems typical of highly developed alluvial landforms and gallery rainforests and vine thickets on alluvial levees.


Click here to view the location of these photos in google maps



Conservation Volunteers Australia Works on Stuart Creek

CVA Works on Stuart Creek

Since 2006 Conservation Volunteers Australia has been are actively involved at four locations along approx 6km’s of upper Stuart Creek.

  • QRail Nature Refuge – 21 hectares riparian restoration, project linked with JCU research into invasive pasture grasses
  • Xstrata Copper – Stage 1 - 3 hectare riparian restoration project 2008; followed further 2km’s of riparian restoration over 2009 and 2010
  • Culvert/Fish passage obstruction removal and reinstatement of riparian zone
  • Upper Southwood Rd, 4 hectare riparian restoration and woody weed removal

Reference: Richard Pepper, Conservation Volunteers Australia, 2008

Stuart Creek Connectivity
This project is being managed by OceanWatch Australia's Tide to Table- Burdekin Dry Tropics project. It aims to increase the outcomes from first Tide to Table project. The current Stuart Creek project is being undertaken by Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) and will involve:

  • Rehabilitating a 2.36ha area along Stuart Creek by removing weeds and revegetating the riparian area.
  • Holding community tree planting events with local residents, schools and businesses

Stuart State School along with CVA and reef guardian schools have developed an environmental education curriculum that involves the students undertaking regular activities at the Start Creek site. Some of their activities include tree planting, watering of seedlings, water quality monitoring through CreekWatch and photographing the project site to monitor change over time.

Stuart Creek Culvert Removal
This was a Tide to Table funded project that was carried out by CVA and Townsville City Council. The culvert had been a complete barrier to fish since the 1950's until it was dismantled in December 2008. Anecdotal evidence says that there are at least another 5 species occurring upstream of the ex-culvert that did not exist there whilst the culvert was in place.

Other Works on Stuart Creek

Over 500 local natives were planted by volunteers from the Community Environment Fund, Daybreak Rotary and Townsville City Council's Greening Townsville Program on the 20th of September 2008. This work was done at the rear of the Tourist Information Creek - south of the bridge over Stuart Creek.

Native Plant Species



Woody Weeds

Evidence of lantana, Chinee Apple, Bellyache Bush found at sites along riparian edge of Stuart Creek.

Agencies & Programs

  • Powerlink
  • Community Environment Fund
  • OceanWatch Australia
  • Townsville City Council
  • Rotary Club of Townsville Daybreak
  • Stuart Creek Dry Tropical Rainforest Revegetation Project
  • Stuart Creek Nature Refuge Biodiversity Enhancement Project (March 2008)
  • Green Corps

Potential Threats

  • Townsville Port Access Road


Stuart Creek at the end of the dry season, 2009 © OceanWatch Australia
Stuart Creek at the end of the dry season, 2009 © OceanWatch Australia

This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at
NQ Dry Tropics Website