Oyster Harbour

Physical

Ocean opening Permanently open
Estuary surface area 16 km²
Average depth 2m (max 10m)
Catchment area 3000 km²
Catchment: estuary ratio 188
Mean annual rainfall 735 mm/yr
Mean annual discharge 90 GL/year
Catchment cleared 65%

Socio-economic

City/town Albany
Population 34 000
Population growth rate 2.5% pa
People per estuary area 2125
Shipping trade none
Commercial fishing King George whiting, Australian herring, black bream
Aquaculture 2 oyster/mussel farm licences
Recreation/tourism Boating, fishing, swimming
Heritage Aboriginal fish traps

The picturesque Oyster Harbour is highly valued for its role in tourism, commercial and recreational fishing and oyster and mussel farming. Fish traps built near the mouth of the Kalgan River in Oyster Harbour approximately 7000 years ago remain sacred to the Menang people.

The ecosystem collapsed in the 1990s with significant seagrass loss. It has been recovering since, but there is need to boost the active management of waterways and increase actions to improve water quality in the region.

There will be a total investment of $2 million in the Oyster Harbour and its catchments during the Regional Estuaries Initiative. This funding will be supported by co-investments from regional catchment groups, local governments and industry partners.

For Oyster Harbour, the Regional Estuaries Initiative will:

  • Support the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group in the joint delivery of on-ground action and long term management strategies to care for Oyster Harbour
  • In partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, farmers and potentially local groups, reduce the nutrient runoff from farms while supporting farm productivity
  • Work with local groups to restore stream function, move stock away from waterways and improve water quality by implementing river action plans
  • Improve agricultural and urban drainage networks to improve water quality entering Oyster Harbour
  • Fund increased monitoring of Oyster Harbour and its catchments.

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