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A Volunteer Community Awareness Program for Louisa Creek


Louisa Creekwatch volunteers
monitoring water quality



Are you interested in becoming involved in catchment management issues concerning Louisa Creek?

If so, get involved in Louisa Creekwatch a volunteer program that spends one day a week monitoring water quality and raising awareness of water quality issues in Louisa Creek


Background on Louisa Creek?

Louisa Creek is one of the most important streams in Townsville's urban environment. The creek retains some important remnants of native vegetation and is an important native fish habitat due to it's connectivity to the Townsville Town Common. In the current Townsville setting, the creek is managed for both its environmental value but also for its function in flood mitigation.

Water Quality Monitoring

Louisa Creekwatch Team Conducts Water Quality and Fish Monitoring in 2007

Water quality monitoring means examining the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, observing how these factors change over time, and over different positions along the water body. The characteristics that are monitored by the Louisa Creekwatch team include, temperature, pH, Dissolved Oxygen, Electrical Conductivity (Salinity) and Turbidity.

The Louisa Creekwatch team monitors water quality at 6 locations along Louisa Creek, these are: Banfield Drive, Greg Jabs Court, Bayswater Road, Camuglia Street, above Woolcock Street, and Blakey's Crossing. The Creekwatch team began monitoring in August 2001 on a monthly basis using procedures and guidelines formulated by Waterwatch Queensland. This regular and long term monitoring regime serves several purposes including:

  • Louisa Creekwatch Team Conducting Macroinvertebrate Monitoring in 2007
    Establishing a long term data record that can be compared against reference sites on a creek or river (reference sites are sites that are assumed to be similar to the natural condition of Louisa Creek)

  • To detect if any significant changes in water quality are occurring over time and if the changes are positive or negative for the health of the ecosystem.

  • To recognise the effects of any significant events as soon as possible, eg. heavy rain, industrial run-off, erosion, accidents (spills).

  • To locate the point of introduction of any pollutants from industrial sites, homes etc., so management strategies can be implemented to prevent this.

    Media Involvement With
    Macroinverebrate Monitoring

Fish and Macroinvertebrate Monitoring

As a component of the Louisa Creekwatch environmental monitoring activities, the team monitors in-stream animal life including fish and macroinvertebrates. One of the most important attributes of the Louisa Creek system, is its function as a native fish breeding area. The fact that the connection still remains between the freshwater reaches of the creek and the estuarine habitat closer to the coast is extremely important for the recruitment of native fish species. Monthly fish monitoring to collect fish population data is carried out using dip netting and bait trapping techniques.

An important biological characteristic of water is the type and number of macroinvertebrates (water bugs such as dragonflies, beetles and even yabbies). Different aquatic animals have different tolerances to water quality and pollution. The Creekwatch team, with the help of students from the Heatley Special Education Unit, catch bugs in the creek. By identifying which bugs are present, and which ones are absent, it is possible to gauge the quality of the water.

Louisa Creek Fish Species

Native Introduced
Spangled Perch
Empire Gudgeon
Agassiz's glass fish
Eastern Rainbow fish
Juvenile Tilapia
Adult Tilapia
Mosquito Fish

How You Can Help the Creek

There are many very simple ways that we can all help to improve the water quality not only in Louisa Creek, but all our local streams. The first step to making a difference is understanding that we all live in a catchment and that anything that leaves your backyard ends up in your local waterway and eventually Cleveland Bay. Here are a few tips that will make a difference to Louisa Creek:

  • Put your garden clippings and kitchen scraps in a covered compost bin; never hose grass down the drains or dump garden waste on creek banks.

  • Always clean up after your dog; wrap droppings and put them in the bin.

  • Sweep up dirt and place it in the garden rather then hosing it down the drain.

  • Wash your car on the lawn, this allows the grass to filter nutrients from the soapy water.

  • Reduce the use of fertilisers (start a compost bin), herbicides and pesticides and only use these in dry conditions.

  • Properly dispose of used oils, paint and other chemicals at your local waste disposal site.

How to get involved:

Contact Mick Brady, the Creekwatch coordinator on (07) 4721 4077,
mobile: 0428533078, or email:


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