Noosa Ecology: Water

The biosphere reserve extends 3km offshore covering a stretch of ocean that contrasts with its estuarine lakes and rivers. There are two Commonwealth Government listings for wetlands of national importance: Lake Weyba and Noosa River. These listings cover a combined 12,805 hectares and comprise 16 different types of wetlands in need of conservation.

These areas of outstanding natural beauty are important for tourism and research and highly significant to Aboriginal people with numerous sites of archaeological value.

Noosa River

 

The lower Noosa River is a comparatively rare example in the subtropics of a choked coastal lagoon system developed entirely on sand.

 

Lake Weyba

This important lake is located in the southern section of Noosa National Park. It is a level sand plain on old tidal delta sand deposits with undulating sandstone rises in the East.

Noosa River

Major habitat typesinclude: open water bodies, estuarine waters, inter-tidal mud/sand flats, mangrove forest/shrubland, saltmarsh, open forest, woodland sedgelands and heathland.

Significant species include: Club Mangrove (Aegialitis annulata); Swamp Sheoak (Casuarina glauca); Red Flowered Form – Paperbark TeaTree (Melaleuca quinquinervia); Broad–Leaved Paperbark (M. viridiflora).

Threatened plants include: Swamp Orchid (Phaius tantervilliae); Key’s Boronia (Boronia keysii).

Threatened fauna include: Ground Parrot (Pezoporus wallicus); Southern Emu Wren (Stipiturus malachurus); False Water Rat (Xeromys myoides); Cooloola Tree Frog (Litoria cooloolensis); Wallum Rocket Frog (L. freycineti); Wallum Sedge Frog (L olongburensis); Wallum Froglet (Crinnia tinnula); Honey Blue Eye (Pseudomugil mellis); Oxleyan Pygmy Perch (Nannoperca oxleyana); Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptohynchus lathami); and Black Necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus).

Lake Weyba

Eight vegetation types are recognised including: Eucalyptus signata open forest,E.signata woodlands, Melaleuca quinquinervia open forest, Melaleuca quinquinervia woodland, Banksia open forest, Banksia oblongifolia open/closed heath, Banksia robur closed heath and sedgelands.

Threatened species include: Swamp Orchid (Phiaus australis); Allocasuarina emunia; Christmas Bells (Blandfordia grandiflora); Tiny Wattle (Acacia baueri); Attenuate Wattle (Acacia attenuata); Wallum Rocket Frog (L. freycineti); Wallum Sedge Frog (L olongburensis); Wallum Froglet (Crinnia tinnula); Honey Blue Eye(Pseudomugil mellis); Oxleyan Pygmy Perch (Nannoperca oxleyana); Glossy Black Cockatoo (Calyptohynchus; lathami); and Black Necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus).

Conservation

There are two main pieces of legislation that are in effect:

  • Urban Stormwater Quality Management Plan seeks to reduce pollution flowing from urban areas.
  • Noosa River Plan provides a range of measures to protect water quality.

Flooding poses a significant threat because a lot of land is less than 2m above sea level and Noosa is at the southern limit of seasonal cyclonic activity. Minimum floor levels have been introduced for residential buildings to account for storm surge and any sea level rise from global warming.

Recreation

Kayaking, Paddle-Boarding, Fishing, Sailing, Jet Skiing, Surfing, Kite Surfing and Swimming are all popular pastimes on the water around Noosa. Indeed, the conditions make for world-renowned surf and kite-surf events. Several operators run surf lessons and hire sailing boats off Noosa Main Beach but there’s no better way to explore the river than to catch a ferry or paddle along in a kayak.

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