O’Connell River

Engineered log jams at O'Connell River.

Engineered log jams have stabilised an eroding bank, provided fish habitat and encouraged the development of deeper pools.

Summary of progress

The O’Connell River is one of the largest rivers in the Mackay Whitsunday region. Cane and grazing production are the dominant land uses with small urban populations at Bloomsbury and Midge Point. In 2007, the water quality and ecological health of the O’Connell River was rated as low to moderate relative to other catchments in the Mackay Whitsunday region. Between 2007 and 2013, there have been significant efforts to improve agricultural and ecosystem management. As a result, the water quality and ecosystem health of the O’Connell River has improved. The progress to date provides an excellent foundation for continued effort focusing on priority actions that ensure the water quality of the O’Connell River meets the needs of the local communities.

Future priorities

Grazing and sugar cane management practices that reduce particulate phosphorous loads are the highest priority for improving event water quality. Management practices that reduce other nutrients and residual herbicides are a moderate priority.

System repair actions for flow, instream habitat, riparian vegetation and mangroves and saltmarsh are the highest priority. A significant increase in investment towards active management and restoration of instream habitat and riparian vegetation is required to enable fish communities to gain the maximum benefits from the improvement in water quality.

View the O’Connell River report card