Overview

Estuary name Wreck Creek
CMA West Gippsland CMA
Description

Wreck Creek is a small intermittently closing and opening estuarine lagoon located on the western edge of Inverloch. From the coast the estuary follows Cape Paterson - Inverloch Road towards the Inverloch RACV resort, for approximately 800 metres, before the creek becomes fresh. The creek has two main branches, one that begins well above the RACV resort (including the resorts wetlands) and the other flows out of farmland through the residential area to the north. For the majority of the year two branches of the creek are mostly dry (apart from a few ponds and billabongs that have been sighted on private property upstream). These creeks begin to flow during wet times (winter / spring), and for the majority of the time the main habitat available to biota is the estuarine lagoon itself.  

Estuary Values

Plant communities / species (Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVCs) and Bioregional Conservation Significance in Victoria);

  • 1 Coastal Dune Scrub Mosaic
  • 2 Coast Banksia Woodland (Vulnerable)
  • 3 Damp Sands Herb-rich Woodland (Vulnerable)
  • 161 Coastal Headland Scrub (Depleted)

Fish identified during sampling in January 2017

  • Short-finned Eel
  • Common Galaxias
  • Spotted Galaxias
  • Flatheaded Gudgeon
  • Black Bream
  • Yellow-eyed Mullet

Significant bird species (Conservation Status Victoria);

  • Australasian Shoveler (Vulnerable)
  • Black-faced Cormorant (Near Threatened)
  • Caspian Tern (Near Threatened)
Estuary Threats

Threats to estuary health include;

  • Growing population
  • High levels of recreational use
  • Unpermitted estuary entrance mouth openings
  • Changes in water regimes
  • High levels of sediment and nutrients
  • Pollution events
  • Habitat modification
  • Land reclamation through drainage of wetlands
  • Invasion by weeds or pests
  • Salinization and acidification.
  • Degraded water quality
  • Disturbance of acid sulphate soils
  • Altered marine exchange
  • Rural drainage and drain clearing
  • Urban drainage and stormwater
  • Litter
  • Trampling and bank erosion associated with pedestrian access.

Data Site observations
Status Active
Monitor group WGCMA Estuary Management Group
Document Values_and_threats_content_for_EstuaryWatch_Website.pdf

Map

Sites

Site details Options

Wr1 Surf Parade Bridge Inverloch

Active Physico-Chemical 26-05-2016 - 14-07-2020

Centre culvert on the downstream (ocean) side of Surf Parade Bridge

Observations 35

WrGB Wreck Creek Gauge Board Site

Active Gauge Board

The Gauge board is located on the eastern downstream side of the Surf Parade Bridge, right alongside the bridge itself.

WrMC Wreck Creek Mouth Condition Site

Active Mouth Condition 06-04-2017 - 14-07-2020

Wreck Creek Mouth Condition Monitoring Site, located at the end of the Wreck Creek access path opposite 178 Surf Parade Inverloch.

Observations 62

WrMC2 Wreck Creek Mouth Opening Number Two (western end)

Active Mouth Condition 14-07-2020 - 14-07-2020

In April 2020, following a large storm surge event, a new opening was formed at Wreck Creek. There are now two locations where the creek can flow out to sea.  This site will be monitored in conjunction with the mouth condition monitoring site established several years ago (further east).

Observations 1

Wrp1 Wreck Creek Photopoint Site

Active Photopoint 07-04-2017 - 16-06-2020

Site located at end of beach access path opposite 178 Surf Parade Inverloch. Site located on grassy mound (site of proposed Fluker Post).

Photos 211

Wrp2 Wreck Creek Photopoint Site Two

Active Photopoint 01-06-2020 - 20-07-2020

Wreck Creek West end Opening

Photos 16

Recent Events

Event Details
23-06-2020 Estuary Entrance Opening

A natural estuary opening at the 'new' wreck creek opening (i.e. further west of the original opening) exposed a large Amazon Ship Wreck, before ocean swells covered it over again with sand later in the afternoon.

23-06-2020 08:00
23-06-2020 08:00
23-06-2020 08:00
23-06-2020 08:00
23-06-2020 17:00
23-06-2020 17:00
23-06-2020 08:00
23-06-2020 08:00
23-06-2020 17:00
23-06-2020 17:00
24-04-2020 Estuary Entrance Opening

In April 2020, a new mouth was established at Wreck Creek. Traditionally when flows in the creek increased over late winter / spring, water would flow out of the sand berm into the ocean at the most easterly extent of the creek. In April large ocean swells removed a large section of coastal vegetation and separated the creek into two (i.e. an east and west tributary). Recent high creek flows have been flowing out to the ocean through this section of the creek ever since this event.

05-04-2020 Estuary Entrance Opening

Following a significant down poor (around 40mm) the mouth of Wreck Creek was artificially opened to alleviate the risk of inundating surrounding houses.

05-04-2020 12:25
23-01-2020 Estuary Entrance Opening

After 40 mm of rainfall overnight, the estuary water levels increased rapidly from 1.4m AHD on the 22 nd of January, to 2.0m AHD on the morning of the 23 rd of January 2020. With steady inflows, consistent rainfall and a sand berm height of approximately 2.4m AHD, an opening was required to prevent the inundation of adjoining houses.

The estuary was completely fresh and the oxygen levels were good. 

23-01-2020 08:25
23-01-2020 08:25
23-01-2020 08:25
23-01-2020 08:25
23-01-2020 08:25
23-01-2020 08:25
23-01-2020 16:30
08-11-2019 Estuary Entrance Opening

After 30mm of rain the mouth of Wreck Creek opened naturally to the ocean. The sand berm was at 2.15m AHD on the afternoon of the 7th of November, and the water level was at 1.85m AHD on the same afternoon. The water levels must have risen more than 30mm overnight to break through the sand berm.

08-11-2019 07:55
View all events

Estuary Snapshots

The EstuaryWatch snapshots provide a summary of estuary condition on a particular day. For all EstuaryWatch Snapshots, photopoint photos and a longitudinal water quality profile from the estuary mouth  to the inland extent is displayed. Read more

Full estuary snapshots below use dates where samples at every active monitoring site were recorded. View full and partial snapshots

Winter 2020


Autumn 2020


Summer 2020


Spring 2019


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