Aquatic inventory of Nadgee Lake, Nadgee River and Merrica River estuaries

P. Scanes, J. Dela-Cruz, G. Coade, B. Haine, A. McSorley, J. Van Den Broek, L. Evans, T. Kobayashi, M. O'Donnell

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Nadgee Lake, Nadgee River and Merrica River in far south NSW are in NSW's only coastal wilderness and have no human habitation; Nadgee Lake and Nadgee River have no public roads in their entire catchments. They are as close to pristine as exists for NSW estuaries. During the period November 2008 to March 2009, data were collected on physical and chemical properties of the water, bathymetry, phytoplankton assemblages, pelagic chlorophyll, fish assemblages, estuarine macrophytes, sediment infauna and Zooplankton in Nadgee Lake and River; and physical and chemical properties of the water and pelagic chlorophyll in Merrica River. The sampling plan was based on current conceptual understanding of the function of intermittently open estuaries in south-eastern NSW. It was intended to provide a basic representation of the ecological processes and types of organisms found in the estuaries. There was no submerged aquatic vegetation found in any of the estuaries. Fish assemblages were relatively diverse for unvegetated intermittent estuaries, but were composed of common estuarine fish. Salinity in Nadgee Lake was about 19 psu and in the River varied between 20 and 33 psu. Concentrations of ammonia and chlorophyll in Nadgee Lake were far greater than expected for this type of estuary. Nadgee River and Merrica River were closer to expectations. These data comprise what is, to our knowledge, the first comprehensive collection of data on the aquatic ecosystems of these estuaries and represent a valuable base-line of data for pristine intermittent estuaries in NSW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-186
Number of pages18
JournalProceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Algal bloom
  • Chlorophyll
  • Coastal lagoon
  • Estuary
  • Fish
  • Infauna
  • Nutrients
  • Pristine
  • Turbidity
  • Water quality


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