Estuary name Powlett River Estuary
CMA West Gippsland CMA

The Powlett River Estuary is approximately 8km in length with a catchment area of 67.77km2. There are a number of bridges, roads and carparks in the area, that provide access to the estuary.

Estuary Values
  • significant bird species such as the Australasian Shoveler (Anas rhynchotis) Status- Vulnerable (Adv list), Gull-billed Tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) Status- Endangered (Adv list) and the Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) Status- Near Threatened (Adv list).
  • Swampy Riparian Woodland- Endangered
  • Swamp Scrub- Endangered
  • Coastal Tussock Saltmarsh- Vulnerable
  • Wet Saltmarsh Herbland-Depleted
  • Estuarine Wetland-Depleted
  • Coast Banksia Woodland-Vulnerable
  • a significant fish species that exists on the Powlett River estuary is the Australian Grayling.
  • non-motor boating
  • picnics
  • swimming
  • walking
  • bird watching
  • coastal middens
  • water supply
Estuary Threats
  • pest animals and plants
  • degraded water quality
  • bank instability
  • disturbance of acid sulphate soils
  • livestock access
  • altered marine exchange
  • rural drainage and drain clearing
  • litter
  • channelisation of the river channel
  • trampling and bank erosion associated with pedestrian access
Data Site observations
Status Active
Monitor group Powlett River EstuaryWatchers
Document Powlett_River_EMP_section1.pdf
Document Powlett_River_EMP_section2.pdf
Document WGCMA_PowlettRiver_EMP_summary.pdf
Document WGCMA_PowlettRiver_Threats.pdf
Document WGCMA_PowlettRiver_Values.pdf



Site details Options

Po1 Site one (Estuary Mouth)

Inactive Physico-Chemical 31-03-2010 - 09-06-2013

Middle of the estuary directly opposite the Powlett River Caravan Park and Mouth of the Powlett Carpark (site accessed in kayak).

Observations 5

Po2 Site two (Mouth of Powlett Road Bridge)

Active Physico-Chemical 13-03-2010 - 17-02-2017
Ocean side of Mouth of Powlett Road Bridge, in between the 6th and 7th reflector when coming from the Kilcunda side of bridge (approx halfway).
Observations 120

Po3 Site three (Bridge Creek)

Inactive Physico-Chemical 31-03-2010 - 14-04-2012

Monitoring is conducted from a kayak at the point where Bridge Creek (tributary) meets the Powlett River.

Observations 13

Po4 Site four (Old Town Drain)

Inactive Physico-Chemical 29-11-2010 - 14-04-2012

Site located in the middle of the river, directly opposite the old fence found on the upstream side of the old town drain.

Observations 8

Po5 Site five (Daly Bridge)

Active Physico-Chemical 01-04-2010 - 10-12-2016
Pedestrian bridge located at the end of Daly Street. This bridge crosses the Powlett River, and is part of the Kilcunda Rail Trail.
Observations 80

Po6 Site six (Fishing Hole)

Inactive Physico-Chemical 05-04-2010 - 01-07-2014

Second bend in river inland of Bass Hwy Bridge.

Observations 32

PoGB Powlett River Water Level Gauge Board

Active Gauge Board
This sites water level monitoring gauge board is located on the western river bank beside the Mouth of Powlett Road Bridge (downstream side).

PoMC Powlett River Mouth Condition Observation Site

Active Mouth Condition 13-03-2010 - 10-04-2017
Rocky platform located on eastern side of the river mouth.
Observations 125

Pop1 Powlett River Photopoint Site One

Active Photopoint 16-12-2012 - 21-04-2017
Sand dune located on the eastern side of the river, approx 70 metres from ocean waters edge.
Photos 294

Recent Events

Event Details
29-03-2017 Estuary Entrance Closure

The Powlett Estuary Mouth closed on this date. The closure was likely to have occurred in the early hours of the morning.

30-03-2017 08:40
14-06-2016 Estuary Entrance Opening

Estuary mouth artificially opened at 2.63m AHD, with peak flow of 663.74 mega litres per day on the 12th of June at Foster Creek Junction gauge.

02-06-2016 Estuary Entrance Closure
The Powlett is still closed, with the water level sitting at 2.34m AHD. At this height the gravel section of the Mouth of Powlett Road is only mildly inundated (see image attached). This is different to previous years, where at this height this section of road would have been completely inundated. This is thanks to the Bass Coast Shire Council who lifted this section of road following the 2015 estuary closure event.
14-05-2016 Estuary Entrance Closure
The estuary opening conducted on the 13th of May was unsuccessful. The opening began early in the day and works continued into the night. With a lack of water level height @ 2.01m AHD, and river flows (100mg/l per day), the large seas (2 to 3 metres) and large high tides (1.6 to 1.7m) there just wasn't enough water in the estuary to prevent the ocean from reclosing the mouth.
Estuary Closure
13-05-2016 Estuary Entrance Opening
Powlett Estuary Artificially opened at 2.01m AHD, with a flow of 90 to 100mg/l per day, a 2 to 3 metre ocean swell and a 1.6 to 1.7m high tide.
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

Summer 2017

Spring 2016

Winter 2016

Autumn 2016


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