The area of the Russell-Mulgrave 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 1.5 km north and 2 km south of the river mouth along the coastline and extends approximately 5.2 km inland. The area includes the confluence of the Russell River and Mulgrave River and several coastal tributaries that drain into the main river channels.

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 Russell-Mulgrave estuary area is dominated by grazing in native vegetation in the downstream reaches with cropping more dominant upstream of the confluence on both the Russell and Mulgrave rivers, with some residential development. The localities of Deeral and Bellenden Ker are just west of the estuary area.

The Russell-Mulgrave estuary grade has remained ‘good’ in 2022-23 and the score decreased from 69 to 68 since the previous year.

Key results

  • The water quality grade for Russell-Mulgrave remained ‘good’, the score decreased from 72 to 70 since the previous year and for most water quality indicators the grades were unchanged.
  • Filterable reactive phosphorus (FRP) improved from ‘moderate’ to ‘good’.
  • Dissolved oxygen declined from ‘good’ to ‘moderate’.
  • For the flow indicator, a slight decrease in score from 81 to 79 meant the grade declined from ‘very good’ to ‘good’.

The diagram below shows the detailed results for each indicator by year. Click on the timeslider to see data from previous years.


Further Information

For a detailed breakdown of the results and trends, visit the results dashboard or read the methods and results technical reports.