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
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 - 08-03-2023
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 214

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 - 21-02-2023
Pedestrian bridge located at the end of Daly Street. This bridge crosses the Powlett River, and is part of the Kilcunda Rail Trail.
Observations 162

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 - 08-03-2023
Rocky platform located on eastern side of the river mouth.
Observations 240

Pop1 Powlett River Photopoint Site One

Active Photopoint 16-12-2012 - 09-03-2023

Sand dune located on the eastern side of the river, approx 70 metres from ocean waters edge.

Photos 700

Recent Events

Event Details
16-08-2022 Weather Event

After heavy rains (60mm+) over the weekend in a saturated catchments cause peak flows of 8500ML/day at D/S Powlett/Foster Confluence. This reached the estuary yesterday and caused estuary water levels to peak at 2.44mAHD and the estuary to be flushed out with freshwater. Mouth of Powlett Rd was flooded. 1st photo taken from social media and was taken on August 17 after water levels began to subside.

22-08-2022 11:10
22-08-2022 11:10
09-06-2022 Estuary Entrance Opening

With water levels reaching a maximum of 2.66mAHD and peak flows recorded at 1715ML/day later in the night at Powlett/Foster confluence (Wattlebank) the decision was made to artificially open the Powlett River Estuary. With a berm height of 2.9mAHD a natural opening had too many risks involved hence the need for an artificial opening. The opening was successful in lowering water levels and lowered water levels by over 1.5m.

09-06-2022 17:00
10-06-2022 07:05
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

Autumn 2023

Summer 2023

Spring 2022

Winter 2022

Autumn 2022

Creative Commons CC BY
All content, files, data and images provided by the EstuaryWatch Data Portal and Gallery are subject to a Creative Commons Attribution License

Content is made available to be used in any way, and should always attribute EstuaryWatch and www.estuarywatch.org.au