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Bohle Catchment Story

The catchment stories use real maps that can be interrogated, zoomed in and moved to explore the area in more detail. They take users through multiple maps, images and videos to provide engaging, in-depth information.

Quick facts

This map journal
is part of a series of catchment stories prepared for Queensland.
 

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Transcript

Bohle Catchment Story

This catchment story is part of a series prepared for the catchments of Queensland.

Table of contents

  1. Understanding how water flows in the catchment
  2. How to view this map journal
  3. Map journal for the Bohle catchment—water movement
  4. Bohle catchment story
  5. Values of the catchment—key features
  6. Values of the catchment—economic
  7. Values of the catchment—environmental and social
  8. Natural features—geology and topography
  9. Natural features—rainfall
  10. Natural features—vegetation
  11. Modified features—infrastructure, dams, weirs and bores
  12. Modified features—sediment
  13. Water quality
  14. Water flow
  15. The main areas
  16. Upper Bohle River
  17. Lower Bohle River
  18. Ross Creek
  19. Esplanade
  20. Mundy Creek
  21. Pallarenda
  22. Shelly Beach
  23. Conclusion
  24. Acknowledgments
  25. Data source, links and extra information

Main image. Looking along Louisa Creek, upstream to Mount Louisa - provided by John Gunn.

Understanding how water flows in the catchment

To manage a catchment effectively, it is important to have a collective understanding of how the catchment works. This map journal gathers information from experts and other data sources to provide that understanding.

The information was gathered using the ‘walking the landscape’ process*, where experts systematically worked through a catchment in a facilitated workshop, to incorporate diverse knowledge on the landscape features and processes, both natural and human. It focused on water flow and the key factors that affect water movement.

This map journal was prepared by the Queensland Wetlands Program in the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, in collaboration with local partners.

*The ‘walking the landscape’ process involves local stakeholders systematically working through a catchment in a facilitated workshop, to incorporate diverse knowledge on the landscape (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection 2012) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

How to view this map journal

This map journal is best viewed in Chrome or Firefox, not Explorer.

Map journal for the Bohle catchment—water movement

This map journal describes the location, extent and values of the Bohle catchment*. It demonstrates the key features that influence water flow, including geology, topography, rainfall and runoff, natural features, human modifications and land uses.

Knowing how water moves in the landscape is fundamental to sustainably managing the catchment and the services it provides.

The artificial Curralea and Keyatta (Paradise) Lakes, which are designed to reduce peak flow from the Townsville suburbs of Hyde Park, Gulliver, Currajong and Vincent - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Main image. The Townsville urban area showing the Strand (foreground), Castle HIll (middle) and Mount Stuart (background), with the Bohle River to the right and the adjacent Ross River to the left - provided by John Gunn.

*The use of the terms 'catchment', 'sub-catchment', 'basin' and 'sub-basin' are sometimes used interchangeably. In this map journal the term 'catchment' has been used.

Bohle catchment story

The Bohle catchment is located in north Queensland and is part of the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Region. The catchment falls within the Townsville City Council area. The catchment includes large rural and urban residential areas and part of the City of Townsville.

The catchment covers approximately 370 square kilometres.

The main waterway is the Bohle River, together with many smaller waterways including the Little Bohle and Middle Bohle rivers and Stoney, Saunders, Louisa, Ross, Mundy, Three Mile and Shelly creeks. All waterways flow to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), via Halifax Bay or Cleveland Bay. The GBR is World Heritage-listed and a marine park.

The Bohle catchment is adjacent to the Ross and Black catchments. There are hydrological connections between these catchments through surface flow, stormwater and groundwater.

There is a drop-down legend for most maps and it can be accessed by clicking on 'LEGEND' at the top right of the map. On this map you can use the drop down legend for the land use.

There are also 'pop-ups' for most mapping features - simply click on the mapping of interest for more information.

Main image. Looking across the Town Common to the mouth of the Bohle River, showing Cape Pallarenda (right) and Halifax Bay (left) - provided by John Gunn.

Values of the catchment—key features

Key features of the Bohle catchment include:

Western escarpment of mostly felsites together with granite (the Pinnacles); this map journal refers to mafite and felsite geologies collectively given these rock types have a similar influence on hydrology*

Large areas of alluvium and colluvium with outcrops of mafite / felsite (Mount Louisa and Cape Pallarenda) and granite (Castle Hill) across the catchment

Large sand ridges (dune swales) and marine deposits (estuaries) on the lower elevations and along the coast

Considered a separate catchment to the Ross River, howeve,r the Ross River would have flowed through the Bohle River channel regularly before the dam, but now only during a big flood event

There are hydrological connections between the Bohle and Ross catchments including Ross Creek through surface flow, stormwater and groundwater

Surface urban development has diverted water from the Bohle catchment into the Ross River (not natural state); historically the boundary of the Bohle catchment was on the high bank of the Ross River

The Townsville urban area is built on the alluvial plain that extends across the Ross, Bohle and Black catchments

Historically Ross Creek was connected to the Ross River with Ross Island to the east, however this was disconnected by the placement of a landfill in the 1970s*

The artificial Curralea and Keyatta (Paradise) Lakes are designed to reduce peak flow from the Townsville suburbs of Hyde Park, Gulliver, Currajong and Vincent and also trap sediment, debris, urban litter and other potential contaminants

The catchment usually experiences annual wet and dry seasons, with 80% of the area’s rainfall during the wet season between November and March (seasonally arid tropics)

The hydrological seasonality associated with these wet and dry season flow conditions are critical to the ecological character, function and associated values of aquatic ecosystems

Generally, upper parts have fast flow off the hard geologies and lower parts have more complicated hydrology related to groundwater infiltration and the influence of tides and rainfall (locally and upstream)

Very porous system with abundant groundwater, however, there are many paleochannels (old river channels) and an extensive but intermittent aquitard in the central parts, which inhibit water movement and can hold water for wetland development (perched local aquifers)

Paleochannels have sealed up and provide preferential path for groundwater in ribbon ‘aquifers’ throughout the basin

The Bohle River is a paleochannel of the Ross River with freshwater seeps off the coast (wonkey holes) and a large amount of freshwater transported through the system to the marine environment

Important groundwater recharge area in colluvium at break in slope (Mount Louisa)

Land use is mostly grazing on native pastures, residential and associated services (airport and Port of Townsville), and conservation and natural areas (including defence and protected areas), together with farming, mining including quarries and Key Resource Areas (KRAs), industry and other minor land uses

Protected areas include the Townsville Town Common and Cape Pallarenda conservation parks and Bohle River Fish Habitat Area (FHA), together with adjacent Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area, Great Barrier Reef (GBR) World Heritage Area (WHA) and GBR Marine Park (GBRMP) (general use, conservation park and coastal)

Wetlands of the catchment include large areas of ‘contains wetlands’** and estuarine wetlands, together with lacustrine, riverine and palustrine wetlands, some of which are within protected areas or the DIWA-listed (Directory of Important Wetlands Australia) RAAF Townsville

Two operational sewage treatment plants (STPs) (Condon STP and Mount Saint John Wastewater Treatment Plant); Bohle STP is not operational (pump stations only)

Birds on Bohle River wetland - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Main image. Urban residential development of the catchment with the Pinnacles and Hervey Range in the background - provided by John Gunn.

*The geological descriptors have been provided by the MINES.QLD_MINES_GEOSCIENCE feature dataset (i.e. detailed surface geology mapping for the state), with ‘Dominant Rock’ nomenclature used to describe geological features. Dominant rock groupings have been used due to the complexity of the geology in the area and that these groupings typically reflect how the geology influences water flow. More detail is available on the Natural features—geology and topography slide by clicking on the relevant polygon in the mapping. This data set is also available for download from the Queensland Globe.

**Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Values of the catchment—economic

The Bohle catchment supports many different land uses*, including residential and associated services, grazing on native pastures, horticulture, defence, industry and the port. There are small areas of mining and two Key Resource Areas.**

Mixed land uses near Gumlow showing aquaculture ponds (right), poultry farm (left), grazing on native pastures, rural residential and other farming - provided by Alana Lorimer.

The Port of Townsville is an important part of the local economy. It is a large general cargo and container port, and one of Australia's leading exporter of zinc, lead, sugar, fertiliser and molasses. The port also services the Navy and cruise ships.***

Residential areas and associated services of the catchment, showing part of the city centre - provided by John Gunn.

Defence facility on Ross Creek - provided by John Gunn.

Main image. The port area at the mouth of Ross Creek - provided by John Gunn.

*Australian Land Use Management Classification  (Department of Agriculture and Water Resources 2010) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

**Hard rock, gravel and sand extraction shown is within KRAs (Key Resource Areas) only. KRAs are identified locations containing important extractive resources of state or regional significance worthy of protection for future use. Some KRAs include existing extractive operations (see link at the end of map journal for more information).

***Port of Townsville (Port of Townsville Limited 2018) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

Values of the catchment—environmental and social

The Bohle catchment provides important habitat for many marine, estuarine, freshwater and terrestrial species.

The Townsville Town Common wetlands and Pallarenda with Castle Hill (right), Magnetic Island (left) and Cape Cleveland, Mount Elliot and the Hervey Range in the background - provided by Alana Lorimer.

The catchment includes protected areas, which also provide for recreational activities such as bush walking and bird watching. These activities provide substantial social and health benefits and they are very important for tourism.

The wetlands and creeks of the catchment provide habitat for many important aquatic species, including plants, fish and birds. Estuarine areas also support important plants (mangrove, saltmarsh and seagrass), estuarine crocodiles, marine turtles, marine mammals and fisheries species. Small parts of these wetlands are included within the DIWA-listed RAAF Townsville wetland.

Information about the different types of wetlands shown in this mapping is provided here.

Great egret - provided by John Gunn.

Estuarine areas are used by the local community for fishing and mud crabbing. The receiving waters of Cleveland Bay are also an important recreational area. The catchment includes a declared Fish Habitat Area* and is adjacent to a Dugong Protection Area.

Many of the species in the catchment have lifecycles with connections to the GBR, which is World Heritage-listed and a marine park.

Mangroves of Ross Creek - provided by John Gunn.

Main image. Wetlands of Rowes Bay - provided by John Gunn.

*Declared Fish Habitat Area Plans (Queensland Government 2016) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

Natural features—geology and topography

Several different rock types combine to make up the geology of the Bohle catchment.

The headwaters of the catchment are dominated by felsite and granite (the Pinnacles). This map journal refers to mafite and felsite geologies collectively, given these rock types have a similar influence on hydrology.*

Most of the other parts are dominated by alluvium and other unconsolidated sediments with large areas of highly dispersive (sodic) and erosive soils, together with outcrops of granite, mafites and delsites. Much of the catchment is flat and prone to flooding.

Conceptual models for several of the catchment's geology types are provided below.

Outcrop of granite (Castle Hill) on the alluvium - provided by John Gunn.

Erosion of sodic soils, Saunders Creek - provided by Townsville City Council.

Main image. The headwaters of the Pinnacles, with colluvium and alluvium on the lower ground - provided by Townsville City Council.

*The geological descriptors have been provided by the MINES.QLD_MINES_GEOSCIENCE feature dataset (i.e. detailed surface geology mapping for the state), with ‘Dominant Rock’ nomenclature used to describe geological features. Dominant rock groupings have been used due to the complexity of the geology in the area and given that these groupings typically reflect how the geology influences water flow. More detail is available by clicking on the relevant polygon in the mapping. This data set is also available for download from the Queensland Globe.

Natural features—rainfall

The Dry Tropics region usually experiences annual wet and dry seasons, with most of the rainfall typically between November and March.

Tropical Cyclone Hamish, Rowes Bay - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Mean monthly rainfall for years 1940 to 2018*

The hydrological seasonality associated with these wet and dry season flow conditions are critical to the ecological character, function and associated values of aquatic ecosystems. The dry season is also as an essential part of the functioning of the system with these semi-permanent and highly turbid waterholes just as vital to the ecosystems as the wet season flows.

Average annual rainfall** of mostly 901 to 1,001 millimetres per year with up to 1,700 millimetres per year over higher elevations of the Pinnacles.

Total annual rainfall from 1940 to 2017*

Flooded road along the Esplanade following heavy rainfall and a high tide - provided by John Gunn.

Main image. High water levels in Ross Creek following heavy rainfall - provided by John Gunn.

*Bureau of Meteorology (2018) - see links at the end of this map journal.

**This dataset depicts the 50-year mean annual rainfall isoheyts (contours) over Queensland for the period 1920 to 1969. The dataset was produced from the mean annual rainfall of as many locations as possible including private collections. Incomplete datasets were `made whole` by calculating values for missing periods through correlation with adjacent rainfall stations.

Natural features—vegetation

Vegetation affects how water flows through the catchment, and this process is affected by land use and management practices. Native vegetation slows water, retaining it longer in the landscape and recharging groundwater aquifers, and reducing the erosion potential and the loss of soil from the catchment.

Several different vegetation types combine to make up the original native (preclearing) vegetation of the Bohle catchment.* Much of the catchment has been cleared or partially-cleared for a range of rural and urban land uses. Some of the cleared vegetation has regrown** since initial clearing.

Explore the swipe map showing vegetation clearing over time, using either of the options below.***

Interactive swipe app where you can zoom into areas and use the swipe bar (ESRI version)

Interactive swipe app where you can use the swipe bar. Use the white slide bar at the bottom of the map for a comparison (HTML version)

These developments and activities change the shape of the landscape and can modify water flow patterns.

Wetland rehabilitation signage - provided by John Gunn.

Main image. Eucalypt woodland, Crestbrook - provided by John Gunn.

*Broad Vegetation Groups derived from Regional Ecosystems. Regional Ecosystems are vegetation communities in a bioregion that are consistently associated with a a particular combination of geology, landform and soil.

**Smaller areas of regrowth are not shown in this mapping. This dataset was prepared to support certain category C additions to the Regulated Vegetation Management Map under the Vegetation Management (Reinstatement) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2016. This dataset is described as: The 2013 areas of non-remnant native woody vegetation that have not been cleared between 1988 and 2014 that are homogenous for at least 0.5 hectare and occur in clumps of at least 2 hectares in coastal regions and 5 hectares elsewhere.

***This application takes time to load.

Modified features—infrastructure, dams, weirs and bores

Buildings and important infrastructure such as roads, railways and creek crossings create barriers and impermeable surfaces that redirect water through single points or culverts, leading to channeling of water. This increases the rate of flow and the potential for erosion. Modifications to channels, such as straightening and diversions, can also increase flow rates.*

Bridge over the Bohle River - provided by Townsville City Council.

Stormwater outlet on the foreshore at Soroptimist Park- provided by John Gunn.

Dams and weirs also modify natural water flow patterns, by holding water that would otherwise flow straight into the stream network. The catchment has many rural water storages (farm dams) and artificial lakes and canals.

The artificial Curralea and Keyatta (Paradise) Lakes are designed to reduce peak flow from the Townsville suburbs of Hyde Park, Gulliver, Currajong and Vincent. Both lakes are regulated by the Woolcock Street canal and weir and tidal gates. The Lakes were constructed primarily to mitigate floods but also trap sediment, debris, urban litter and other contaminants, thereby reducing the amount of contaminants entering Ross Creek and Cleveland Bay.

Three weirs on the Ross River have also disrupted natural sediment transport along the shoreline of the Bohle catchment. The natural northern longshore sediment transport, and the sediment supply to Cleveland Bay, has been largely interrupted and sand is currently delivered to the Strand waterfront, Rowes Bay and Pallarenda by a long-term sand renourishment program.

Historically Ross Creek was connected to the Ross River with Ross Island to the east, however, this was disconnected by the placement of a landfill in the 1970s.

This infrastructure can also affect fish passage.

There are also many bores**, which extract water for livestock and domestic uses and can influence groundwater. The catchment also includes part of the Black River Underground Water Area***.

Townsville urban area with Castle Hill in the background - provided by John Gunn.

Main image. Curralea and Keyatta (Paradise) Lakes with Mundy Creek, the northern beaches (left), Castle Hill (right), Cleveland Bay and Magnetic island - provided by John Gunn.

*Townsville City Council provides access to asset infrastructure, contours, planning scheme zoning, overlay maps including storm tide, etc. - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

**Taken from database storing registered water bore data from private water bores and Queensland Government groundwater investigation and monitoring bores.

***The Black River Underground Water Area is a groundwater managed area under the Water Regulation 2016 (Water Act 2000) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

Modified features—sediment

Increases in the volume and speed of runoff, and disturbed vegetation through activities such as construction or grazing can increase erosion in the landscape and the stream channels. This can result in sediment being carried downstream and reduced water quality. The construction stage of a development typically generates more sediment in runoff than more mature stages of a development.

The suspended sediment of most risk to the GBR is the fine fraction. Fine sediment:

  • contains nitrogen, phosphorus (and other potential contaminants such as metals),
  • travels widely in flood plumes rather than all depositing near the river mouth, and
  • substantially reducing light when in suspension.

Furthermore, the impacts of suspended sediment contributes to the cumulative impacts of other stressors (e.g. freshwater flood plumes, elevated nutrients, impacts from cyclones, increasing sea surface temperatures) to increase the overall impact on organisms of the GBR.

Water quality

Water quality is influenced by diffuse runoff and point source inputs. Runoff is from a variety of land uses, including rural, residential, industrial and commercial areas.

Diffuse runoff includes on-site sewage facilities (e.g. septic tanks) and stormwater discharges, particularly from low permeability surfaces common in urban areas. The concentration of potential contaminants in the stormwater discharge depends on the land use of the area. Many rural areas and more densely populated rural-residential areas use on-site sewage facilities.

 

Point source inputs include sewage treatment plants (STPs).

Information regarding monitoring sites (gauging stations*) and catchment load monitoring** can be found in the reference section at the end of this map journal.

Main image. Water quality signage at the lakes - provided by Alana Lorimer.

*Water Monitoring Information Portal (Queensland Government 2017) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

**Great Barrier Reef Catchment Loads Modelling Program (Queensland Government, 2017); Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017-2022. Queensland Government (2018) ; Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan - Report cards (Queensland Government (2017) - see links at the end of this map journal for further information.

Water flow

Water flows across the landscape into the Bohle River and other waterways (click for animation)*.

The Bohle River mouth - provided by Townsville City Council.

The remaining water either sinks into the ground where it supports a variety of terrestrial and groundwater dependent ecosystems or is used for other purposes.

The smaller channels and gullies eventually flatten out to form larger waterways that flow through lower lying land. They pass through unconsolidated areas which store and release water, prolonging the time streams flow.

Main image. Water flowing from Mundy Creek following heavy rainfall - provided by John Gunn.

The main areas

A 'catchment' is an area with a natural boundary (for example ridges, hills or mountains) where all surface water drains to a common channel to form rivers or creeks.*

The Bohle catchment is listed as a single catchment but consists of several distinct areas that have similar characteristics:

Upper Bohle River (the Bohle, Little Bohle and Middle Bohle rivers, Middle, Stoney, Stag and Tchuratippa creeks and Black Gully)

Lower Bohle River (the Bohle River, Saunders, Stony and Louisa creeks)

Ross Creek (Ross Creek)

Esplanade (unnamed tributaries)

Mundy Creek (Mundy Creek)

Pallarenda (Three Mile Creek)

Shelly Beach (Shelly Creek)

Main image. Urban development of the catchment with Castle Hill and Magnetic Island (left) and Cape Cleveland (right) in the background - provided by John Gunn.

*Definition sourced from the City of Gold Coast website - see links at the end of this map journal.

Upper Bohle River

The Upper Bohle River subcatchment has a rugged western escarpment of mostly felsite together with granite (the Pinnacles), and large areas of alluvium and colluvium across the subcatchment

Fast flow off the hard geologies

Rock screes, freshwater seeps (groundwater) and vine thickets on higher elevations

The Bohle River is a paleochannel of the Ross River

The Ross River Dam has changed flow paths into the Bohle River however the Bohle River is still connected to the Ross River through surface flow, stormwater and groundwater

Palaeochannels, an extensive aquitard and abundant bores lower in the system

Land use is mostly grazing on native pastures, together with residential and associated services, farming, mining (quarries and Pinnacles hardrock KRA), waste treatment and disposal (Condon STP and pump station) and other minor land uses

Large areas of ‘contains wetlands’*, together with riverine and lacustrine wetlands

Areas of sodic soil in the colluvium have led to gully erosion where vegetation is cleared

Burrowing frogs and black throated finch associated with permanent waterholes

Lower parts of the system are modified in terms of hydrology and weeds

The upper parts of the catchment - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Main image. Looking across the Bohle River floodplain to Gumlow from Mount Stuart - provided by John Gunn.

*Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Lower Bohle River

The Lower Bohle River subcatchment is underlain by mostly alluvium and colluvium with outcrops of mafite / felsite* (Mount Louisa and Cape Pallarenda) and large sand ridges (dune swales) and marine deposits (estuaries) on the lower elevations and along the coast

The Bohle River is a paleochannel of the Ross River

The Ross River Dam has changed flow patterns into the Bohle River, however, the Bohle River is still connected to the Ross River through surface flow, stormwater and groundwater

Abundant groundwater and bores across the subcatchment, together with pandanus and melaleucas, which rely on shallow and deep groundwater respectively

Mixed land use including grazing on native pastures, residential and associated services (airport and defence), conservation and natural environments, mining (quarries and Bohle hardrock KRA), waste treatment and disposal (Mount Saint John STP and pump stations), industry and other minor land uses

Large areas of ‘contains wetlands’** and estuarine wetlands, together with palustrine, riverine and lacustrine wetlands

Protected areas include the Townsville Town Common Conservation Park and Bohle River FHA, together with adjacent Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area, GBR WHA and adjacent to GBRMP

The Town Common includes large areas of diverse wetland and important fisheries habitat (e.g. refugia for Barramundi in permanent waterholes) and water bird habitat (e.g. Brolga breeding on Freshwater Lagoon); these systems shift between fresh and salt dominance over time

The upper reaches of the Lower Bohle River are a ‘funnel’ for the large upper catchment area, with a gorge-like channel that breaks its banks during flood events

In the lower parts, channels have many different flow paths within a macrochannel (braided)

Many lowers parts are modified in terms of hydrology and weeds such as paragrass

Road crossing of Louisa Creek - provided by John Gunn.

Louisa Creek, looking downstream to Blakeys - provided by John Gunn.

The Lower Bohle River meandering past the Townsville Town Common and Cape Pallarenda - provided by Townsville City Council.

Main image. Louisa Creek, Bayswater - provided by John Gunn.

*The geological descriptors have been provided by the MINES.QLD_MINES_GEOSCIENCE feature dataset (i.e. detailed surface geology mapping for the state), with ‘Dominant Rock’ nomenclature used to describe geological features. Dominant rock groupings have been used due to the complexity of the geology in the area and given that these groupings typically reflect how the geology influences water flow. More detail is available on the Natural features—geology and topography slide by clicking on the relevant polygon in the mapping. This data set is also available for download from the Queensland Globe.

**Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Ross Creek

The Ross Creek subcatchment is underlain by large areas of alluvium, with a granite outcrop (Castle Hill) and sand ridges and marine deposits along the coast

Historically Ross Creek was connected to the Ross River with Ross Island to the east, however this was disconnected by the placement of a landfill in the 1970s

Abundant groundwater and bores across the subcatchment

Land use is mostly residential and associated services, together with conservation and natural environments, mining (quarries), industry (Port of Townsville) and other minor land uses

Most of the Townsville city centre has been built on the unconsolidated sediments in this subcatchment

Protected areas include the Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area and GBR WHA

Large areas of ‘contains wetlands’* and estuarine wetlands, together with palustrine and lacustrine wetlands

Surface hydrology is modified by urban development, infilling (historic Ross Island), lake systems such as Curralea and Keyatta (Paradise), tidal gates, weirs and stormwater systems

The Curralea and Keyatta Lakes are designed to reduce peak flow from the Townsville suburbs of Hyde Park, Gulliver, Currajong and Vincent

Hardening up of the sub-catchment by urban development has reduced groundwater recharge, however recharge is provided by large grass-lined drains (swales) and green spaces such as Mindham Park and large backyards

Urban development and associated services of the Ross Creek subcatchment - provided by John Gunn.

Urban development of Ross Creek with the port at the mouth and Magnetic Island in the background - provided by John Gunn.

The bank of Ross Creek which provides habitat for flying fox and birds - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Main image. Ross Creek at low tide showing mangroves in the channel, the Victoria Bridge, city centre and Castle HIll - provided by Alana Lorimer.

*Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Esplanade

The Esplanade subcatchment is dominated by the large granite outcrops of Castle Hill and Kissing Point, together with alluvium, colluvium, sand and marine deposits

Abundant groundwater, particularly evident at ‘Paperbark Corner’

Land use is residential and associated services

Protected areas include the adjacent Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area and GBR WHA

Small areas of estuarine wetlands

Surface hydrology is modified by urban development, infilling and stormwater systems

Sailboats and the foreshore of the Strand - provided by Tourism and Events Queensland.

Main image. The Esplanade swimming enclosure, the Strand waterfront development and Castle Hill, with Mount Stuart and the Hervey Range in the background - provided by Megan MacKinnon.

Mundy Creek

The Mundy Creek subcatchment is mostly flat and underlain by alluvium with large sand dunes and marine deposits, together with mafite / felsite* outcrop (Jimmy’s Lookout)

Abundant groundwater with constant freshwater seeps from Castle Hill

Land use is mostly residential, associated services and conservation and natural environments (part of the Townsville Town Common)

Protected areas include the Bohle River FHA, together with adjacent Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area, GBR WHA and GBRMP

Large areas of ‘contains wetlands’**, estuarine and palustrine wetlands, together with lacustrine wetlands

Surface hydrology is modified by urban and airport development, infilling, bunding, straightening, tidal gates, training of the creek mouth and stormwater systems

Good fish and bird (e.g. spoonbills, brolgas, jabiru) habitat with several rehabilitation project underway

Mundy Creek at high tide - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Fast flow in Mundy Creek - provided by John Gunn.

Main image. Rowes Bay wetland and cemetery, with Kissing Point in the background - provided by John Gunn.

*The geological descriptors have been provided by the MINES.QLD_MINES_GEOSCIENCE feature dataset (i.e. detailed surface geology mapping for the state), with ‘Dominant Rock’ nomenclature used to describe geological features. Dominant rock groupings have been used due to the complexity of the geology in the area and given that these groupings typically reflect how the geology influences water flow. More detail is available on the Natural features—geology and topography slide by clicking on the relevant polygon in the mapping. This data set is also available for download from the Queensland Globe.

**Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Pallarenda

The Pallarenda sub-catchment is dominated by sand dunes, together with marine deposits and mafite / felsite* headland (Cape Pallarenda)

Abundant groundwater with constant groundwater seepage

Land use is mostly conservation and natural environments, together with residential and associated services

The Rowes Bay Wetlands provide for birdwatching, bushwalking and nature walks, low key interpretive facilities and boardwalks

Protected areas include the Townsville Town Common and Cape Pallarenda conservation parks and Bohle River FHA, together with adjacent Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area, GBR WHA and GBRMP

Large areas of ‘contains wetlands’** and estuarine wetlands, together with palustrine and lacustrine wetlands

Main image. Looking across the Town Common to Cape Pallarenda - provided by John Gunn.

*The geological descriptors have been provided by the MINES.QLD_MINES_GEOSCIENCE feature dataset (i.e. detailed surface geology mapping for the state), with ‘Dominant Rock’ nomenclature used to describe geological features. Dominant rock groupings have been used due to the complexity of the geology in the area and given that these groupings typically reflect how the geology influences water flow. More detail is available on the Natural features—geology and topography slide by clicking on the relevant polygon in the mapping. This data set is also available for download from the Queensland Globe.

**Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Shelly Beach

The Shelly Beach subcatchment is dominated by the mafite / felsite* headland (Cape Pallarenda), together with sand dunes and marine deposits

Abundant groundwater with constant groundwater seepage

Land use is all conservation and natural environments, including the Town Common Conservation Park, together with adjacent Bohle River FHA, Cleveland Bay—Magnetic Island Dugong Protection Area, GBR WHA and GBRMP

Large areas of ‘contains wetlands’** and estuarine wetlands

*The geological descriptors have been provided by the MINES.QLD_MINES_GEOSCIENCE feature dataset (i.e. detailed surface geology mapping for the state), with ‘Dominant Rock’ nomenclature used to describe geological features. Dominant rock groupings have been used due to the complexity of the geology in the area and given that these groupings typically reflect how the geology influences water flow. More detail is available on the Natural features—geology and topography slide by clicking on the relevant polygon in the mapping. This data set is also available for download from the Queensland Globe.

**Areas mapped as ’contains wetlands’ typically include many small wetlands, which are too small to map individually.

Conclusion

The Bohle catchment shows how natural and modified features within the landscape impact on how water flows. These issues need to be managed to ensure that the significant natural (and social) values of the catchment are protected, and to minimise impacts on the multitude of values within the catchment and downstream in the GBR, while providing for residential, water supply, farming and other important land uses of the catchment.

Knowing how the catchment functions is also important for future planning, including climate resilience. With this knowledge, we can make better decisions about how we manage this vital area.

Main image. Intertidal coral and seagrass at Rowes Bay - provided by Alana Lorimer.

Acknowledgments

Developed by the Queensland Wetlands Program in the Department of Environment and Science in partnership with the Dry Tropics Partnership for Healthy Waters and other local partners:

Conservation Volunteers Australia

Townsville City Council

C&R Consulting

Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Incorporated

Department of Defence

Earth Environmental

Energy Queensland

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

James Cook University

NQ Dry Tropics

Office of the Great Barrier Reef

QLD Government Departments

This resource should be cited as: Walking the Landscape – Bohle Catchment Story v1.0 (2018), presentation, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland.

Images provided by: Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, John Gunn, Alana Lorimer, Megan MacKinnon, Tourism and Events Queensland, and Townsville City Council.

The Queensland Wetlands Program supports projects and activities that result in long-term benefits to the sustainable management, wise use and protection of wetlands in Queensland. The tools developed by the Program help wetlands landholders, managers and decision makers in government and industry.

Contact wetlands@des.qld.gov.au or visit https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au

Disclaimer

This map journal has been prepared with all due diligence and care, based on the best available information at the time of publication. The department holds no responsibility for any errors or omissions within the document. Any decisions made by other parties based on this document are solely the responsibility of those parties. Information contained in this education module is from a number of sources and, as such, does not necessarily represent government or departmental policy.

Data source, links and extra information

Software Used

ArcGIS for Desktop | ArcGIS Online | Story Map Journal| Story Map Series |

Some of the information used to put together this Map Journal can be viewed on the QLD Globe.

Queensland Globe allows you to view and explore Queensland spatial data and imagery. You can also download a cadastral SmartMap or purchase and download a current titles search.

More information about the layers used can be found here: Source Data Table

Flooding Information

Townsville City Council

Other References

Bureau of Meteorology (2018) Climate Data Online [webpage] Accessed 11 October 2018

City of Gold Coast (2021) About water catchments. [webpage] Accessed 25 August 2021

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (2010) Australian Land Use Management Classification [webpage] Accessed 11 September 2018

Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (2012) Walking the Landscape—A Whole-of-system Framework for Understanding and Mapping Environmental Processes and Values, Queensland Wetlands Program, Queensland Government, Brisbane

Port of Townsville Limited (2018) Port of Townsville [webpage] Accessed 11 October 2018

Queensland Government (2016) Declared Fish Habitat Area Plans [webpage] Accessed 11 September 2018

Queensland Government (2016) Water Regulation 2016, Current as at 1 July 2018 [webpage] Accessed 11 September 2018

Queensland Government (2017) Key Resource Areas in Queensland [webpage] Accessed 11 September 2018

Queensland Government (2018) Great Barrier Reef Catchment Loads Modelling Program [webpage] Accessed 11 September 2018

Queensland Government (2018) Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan 2017-2022, State of Queensland, Brisbane

Queensland Government (2018) Reef 2050 Water Quality Improvement Plan - Report Cards [webpage] Accessed 11 September 2018

Queensland Government (2018) Water Quality Information Portal [webpage] Accessed 23 August 2018


Last updated: 25 August 2021

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment and Science, Queensland (2021) Bohle Catchment Story, WetlandInfo website, accessed 29 September 2021. Available at: https://wetlandinfo.des.qld.gov.au/wetlands/ecology/processes-systems/water/catchment-stories/transcript-bohle.html

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment and Science