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Tuross River and Lake

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Lake Brunderee Coila Lake

[Image of Estuary] Tuross River and Lake

Shape, Size and Scale of Estuary

Estuary Type

River and lake

Estuary Characteristics

Area Catchment 2150 km2
Waterway Area 13 km2
Entrance Characteristics Open and untrained
Location (Lat-Long) 36.067S ,  150.135E
Distance (from Sydney) 330 km South
Summary of Available Data Data Pages

Physical Features

The estuary forms a complex system of shallow interconnecting channels and lakes - the river varies in depth between 1 and 3 m with the main lake 2 to 4 m deep. The town of Tuross Head is located north of the entrance. Although the entrance is subject to wave power and littoral drift rates that might suggest a closed or mostly closed condition, the large waterway area and runoff provide sufficiently strong inlet flows to maintain a permanently open entrance against these beach building processes. The tidal limit in the Tuross River is located at Comerang 19 km from the entrance, or 9 km upstream from the Princes Highway bridge north of Bodalla.

Significant Estuarine Tributaries

Tuross Lake
Tuross River
Bumbo Creek And Lake
Borang Lake
Boro Lake
Trunketabella Lagoon

Population and Holiday Centres

Tuross Head

Special Attributes


  • Amateur fishing is reported to be good with the usual run of bream, luderick and mullet.
  • Good water-skiing.
  • Tuross Lake (including Tuross River and Borang Lake) has been declared a recreational fishing haven.
  • Significant oyster producer.

Estuarine Vegetation

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.

Type Area Species 1
Mangroves 0.664 av,ae
Seagrass 2.176 z,h
Saltmarsh 0.802


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.

Estuary Commerce

oyster, boating, tourism, extraction

Management Issues

This estuary falls in the area covered by Southern Rivers Catchment Management Authority.

Tuross River and Lake

Current Situation

Eurobodalla Shire Council has formed the Tuross River / Coila Lake Estuary Management Committee to prepare and implement an Estuary Management Plan for both the Tuross and Coila estuaries.

Management Issues

  • Entrance shoaling can have an adverse impact upon the local oyster industry due to both reduced tidal range within the system and reduced tidal flushing.
  • Substantial shoaling in the Tuross River, limiting water access.
  • Foreshore and riparian management, particularly where livestock have access to the waterway.
  • Barriers to tidal flow and fish passage.

The Estuary Management Process 2

Process Status Date
Form Estuary Management Committee (EMC) completed
Assemble Existing Data completed
Carryout Process Study completed
Carryout Estuary Management Study completed
Draft Estuary Management Plan commenced
Review Estuary Management Plan none
Implement Estuary Management Plan none
Monitor and Review Estuary Management Process none

Contact Details

Eurobodalla Shire Council Catherine Potter
Ph (02) 4474 1211


Local Government Areas


NSW 1:25000 Map Name(s)