Estuaries in NSW
|Next South||Next North|
|Karuah River||Smiths Lake|
|Area Catchment||1660 km2|
|Waterway Area||123 km2|
|Entrance Characteristics||Open and untrained|
|Location (Lat-Long)||32.675S , 152.149E|
|Distance (from Sydney)||240 km North|
|Summary of Available Data||Data Pages|
The Myall Lakes comprise a series of three interconnected water bodies. The total waterway area of the Lakes and River is 123 km2 with a catchment area of 1,660 km2>. The northern most lake is mostly fresh while the second and third lakes are slightly saline (depending on rainfall). The lower Myall River connects the Myall lakes with the lower Port at Corrie Island. The lower Myall River, which is approximately 25 km in length, joins the Myall Lakes system with Port Stephens. Although the river entrance is permanently open, tidal response within the lakes is severely attenuated due to the limited hydraulic conveyance. Tide stage attenuation along the lower Myall River is relatively uniform with a mean spring tidal range of 1.35 m at the entrance diminishing to 0.03 m at the Broadwater, the southern-most lake of the Myall system which also includes Boolambayte Lake and Myall Lake. Consequently, the lakes' waters are virtually fresh with little estuarine vegetation. The mean lakes' level is typically super-elevated 0.1 m above mean sea level. The town of Bulahdelah is located west of the lakes, while Tea Gardens is just upstream of the river entrance.
Significant Estuarine Tributaries
Myall Lake And Estuary
Population and Holiday Centres
- Popular camping area.
- The lakes are fully contained within the Myall Lakes National Park (total area 345 km2). There is a notable variety of land-based vegetation and wildlife.
- Fourth largest NSW estuarine waterway area.
- The lower Myall River is frequently visited by dolphins.
The spatial data is reproduced from NSW Fisheries(2006/7) studies, whilst the species makeup is from the West et al.(1985). This map shows the spatial extent of the Estuarine Vegetation.
R.J. Williams, G. West, D. Morrison and R.G. Creese, (2006),
"Estuarine Resources of New South Wales",
prepared for the Comprehensive Coastal Assessment (DoP) by the NSW Department of Primary Industries, Port Stephens.
R.J. West, C.A. Thorogood, T.R. Walford and R.J. Williams. (1985).
"An Estuarine Inventory for New South Wales, Australia".
Fisheries Bulletin 2. Department of Agriculture, New South Wales.
fishing, oyster, port, boating, tourism, sewage
This estuary falls in the area covered by Hunter Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority.
Port Stephens/Myall Lakes Estuary Management Committee
Port Stephens and Great Lakes Councils have formed the Port Stephens / Myall Lakes Estuary Management Committee to prepare a management plan for the combined estuary. The Management plan has been finalised and is currently being implemented by the two councils. Preparation of the Plan involved the following activities.
Data Compilation Study
This study reviewed the extent of existing information and defined issues relating to the estuary as
- Myall Lakes, water quality, illegal development, conservation, access and recreation pressures
- Myall River, shoaling/navigation, bank erosion, conflict of use, development pressures and water quality
Estuary Processes Study
The processes study is a broad summary of catchment usage, coastal, tides and river processes, flora and fauna, sedimentation, waterway usage and water quality. For example:
- The waterways of Port Stephens and Myall Lakes support a wide variety of estuarine habitats, some of which are unique in the State
- Approximately 65% of the catchment is naturally vegetated and a wide range of vegetation habitats are represented.
- The total area occupied by oyster leases is approximately 11.5 km2or about 7% of the waterway area.
Estuary Management Study and Plan
The management study and plan divided the estuary into a number of management areas to determine management issues, options and recommended actions. Priority actions were recommended which aim to improve baseline information, provide a robust planning framework, address existing problems and maintain government and community commitment to plan implementation. A significant acknowledgement is the link of shoreline erosion with the removal of riparian vegetation. Great Lakes and Port Stephens Councils are currently implementing the management plan.
The Estuary Management Process 2
|Form Estuary Management Committee (EMC)||completed|
|Assemble Existing Data||completed||1997|
|Carryout Process Study||completed||1999|
|Carryout Estuary Management Study||completed||2000|
|Draft Estuary Management Plan||completed||2000|
|Review Estuary Management Plan||completed||2002|
|Implement Estuary Management Plan||commenced||2002|
|Monitor and Review Estuary Management Process||none|
|Great Lakes Council||Gerard Tuckerman|
|Ph (02) 6591 7274|
Local Government Areas
NSW 1:25000 Map Name(s)