King Island Natural Resource Management



WaterWatch King Island


To collect sound scientific data on the quality of King Island's key waterways
To inform & train the King Island community in "caring for waterways"
To establish and maintain an island wide community-based water quality program

So that we can know the quality of our water, care for our water, improve the health of our degraded waterways and to conserve King Islands' unique natural waterways.

Survey Sites:

Monitoring Sites MapYellow Rock, Sea Elephant, Egg Lagoon, Porky Creek, Yarra Creek, Fraser River, Ettrick River, Seal River, Grassy River

[Monitoring Sites - photo documentation]

Tests Conducted:

  • Salinity
  • Acidity (pH)
  • Water temperature
  • Nutrients
  • Silt
  • Macro-invertebrates
  • Streamside habitat

Checklist for Monitoring your own Property

  • The Right Choice
    The best equipment for your needs will depend on what you want to measure and why. The base quality of your water is also important.
  • Temperature
    Temperature changes depending on the time of day, weather, amount of rain, and shade cover. A simple thermometer is the best tool around.
  • Acidity (pH)
    The pH can be affected by acid sulphate soil runoff, lime sand applications and breakdown of plant material. Paper strips that change colour, or an electronic meter can test it.
  • Conductivity (salts)
    Conductivity is an indicator of pollution, saline runoff, and saline groundwater. Conductivity can vary significantly, and an electronic meter is best.
  • Phosphate
    Phosphate (P) tests help to indicate fertiliser runoff. Tablet based colour comparison kits, or meters can be used.
  • Nitrate
    Nitrate (N) tests measure for agricultural runoff, industrial wastes and sewage. It is easily absorbed by plants, and so mostly occurs in low levels. Similar kits to P can be used.
  • Turbidity
    Turbidity measures water clarity and is an indicator of soil erosion. Turbidity tubes (to test light penetration), or electric meters can be used.


Platypus Project 2000 -community based platypus surveys
Lets Get Wet Workshop -where school children demonstrated and taught water testing techniques to the adults
Local Waterways Photo Competition
Clean Up Camp Creek Catchment Day
King Island Waterwatch Calendar 2002


National Water Week activities program
Annual Freshwater Festival Display Night Achievements


2001 Race Around the Catchment Video Competition - King Island District High School State Winners
2000 Race Around the Catchment Video Competition - King Island District High School State Runners-up
Local community water monitoring training programs
Raised local awareness of stream management and conservation

Further Concerns

The King Island community has identified several issues of concern for our waterways:

  • Salinity
  • Water logging and poor drainage
  • Nutrient runoff, and associated blue green algae outbreaks
  • Erosion of creek and river systems
  • Water pollution
  • Acid sulphate drainage
  • Sedimentation and degradation of rivers and creeks due to uncontrolled livestock access
  • Loss of native vegetation along river ways
  • Degradation of coastal lagoons

King Island Waterwatch is working to investigate and monitor these issues.

Water - Projects

2000 to 2003

Devolved Grant -included fencing, re-vegetation and direct seeding, and waterway protection, the development of several strategies and the publication of a number of books and reports. A community group worked intensely for over a year on the publication of ‘King Island Flora: a field guide’. A revolving fund was set up to protect valuable ecosystems on the island through buying properties, covenanting and re-selling, this is ongoing run by Tasmanian Land Conservancy.

Since 2001

Waterwatch: to assess the quality of King Island's waterways. [Project Details]
The project was for a time part of North-West Waterwatch and included monthly monitoring of nine sites to obtain baseline data of the quality of King Island's streams, additional monitoring by community members and educational activities for the community, including school students. More details...

Water Monitoring

Biodiversity and Water Monitoring on King Island. Cradle Coast NRM 2010-2011

Data collected includes water monitoring of selected waterways, comparison vegetation data from 2010 to 2011 on wallaby exclosures, a small study involving protecting the endangered orchid Pterostylis cucullata (leafy greenhood) from wallaby browsing and recording differences with unprotected sites. Only 2 Orange-bellied parrots were recorded during the blitz in March 2012, in which staff of the Threatened Species Unit, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and volunteers monitored all known sites for the presence of the critically endangered bird. Population monitoring and habitat restoration work will continue to be completed by volunteers and as project funds become available.


Waterwatch 2000 - 2011

King Island WaterWatch Project Details

KINRMG ran water monitoring and education activities over many years culminating in Water Quality and Stream Condition on King Island, 2004 - 2008
Aims were to:
To collect sound scientific data on the quality of King Island's key waterways;
To inform & train the King Island community in "caring for waterways";
To establish and maintain an island wide community-based water quality program
The work focussed on water quality data collected at sites located on the following waterways: Sea Elephant River, Ettrick River, Fraser River, Yellow Rock River, Porky Creek, Egg Lagoon Creek, Seal River, Yarra Creek, and Lake Flannigan.