Daintree Estuary

The area of the Daintree estuary reporting zone can be defined by the pre-cleared extent of mangrove and saltmarsh remnant vegetation which is characterised by species that require periodic inundation of sea water. This area extends approximately 5.5 km northeast and 6.4 km south-west of the river mouth along the coastline and extends approximately 12 km inland. The area includes several coastal tributaries that drain into the Daintree River. The assessment area of riparian extent extends further up the river than the mangrove and salt marsh communities to the upper tidal limit and includes vegetation types that are more typical of freshwater environments. Land use within and adjacent to the Daintree estuary area is dominated by cropping with some grazing and residential development. The Daintree village is approximately 16 km north-west of the river mouth. The lower Daintree River is listed in the Directory of (Nationally) Important Wetlands.

Scroll down for further detailed results for each indicator group.

Grading

gradesa1

very good

gradesb1

good

gradesc1

moderate

gradesd1

poor

gradese1

very poor

insufficient data

Confidence surrounding the data used in the circle diagrams has been assessed using a multi-criteria framework.

confidence

Water quality

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The overall water quality grade in 2015-16 for the Daintree estuary is ‘good’.

Water quality grades are based on aquatic ecosystem guidelines for protection of estuarine waters, and are not based on load reduction targets for the marine environment. The results are derived from a transect of four monitoring sites in the channel of the Daintree River.

The physical and chemical score of 82.2 (‘very good’) is comprised of a dissolved oxygen (DO) score of 74.35 (‘good’), meaning the annual median of DO concentrations complies with guideline values, and turbidity score of 90 (‘very good’) meaning the annual median and at least 80% of the monthly medians of turbidity comply with guideline values.

Nutrients scored 67.7 (‘good’) in the Daintree estuary, comprising of a DIN (dissolved inorganic nitrogen) score of 63.3 (‘good’) and FRP (filterable reactive phosphorus) score of 72.0 (‘good’).

The chlorophyll a score in the Daintree estuary is 90.0 (‘very good’).

Pesticides are not monitored in the Daintree estuary therefore a score and grade cannot be provided

Habitat and hydrology

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The overall habitat and hydrology grade for the Daintree estuary is ‘moderate’.

The mangrove and saltmarsh extent scored 93.4 (‘very good’) with 1.7% loss from pre-clear to 2013. These results reflect a low level of development within the estuary area. Riparian extent is assessed to the upper tidal limit of the river which extends upstream of the estuary area that is characterised by mangroves and saltmarsh. Riparian assessment therefore includes areas that have been cleared for agriculture and other developments. The riparian extent scored 25.9 (‘poor’) with 45.1% loss from pre-clear to 2013.

For estuary fish barriers the Daintree estuary scored 61 (‘good’) with ‘moderate’ barrier density, ‘moderate’ percentage of stream length to the first barrier and an absence of low passability barriers (graded ‘very good’).

Estuary riparian extent, mangrove and saltmarsh extent and estuary fish barriers are updated every four years. The data for riparian extent, mangrove and saltmarsh extent is to be updated in 2018.

The method for the flow indicator is currently under development and will be available for future report cards.

Fish

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The fish index is currently under development and will be available in future report cards.

Further information on the methods used to produce the scores and grades and detailed results can be found here.