Gardner River

Posted on Jan 9, 2015

Gardner RiverAquaticBiodiversity

Vegetation of Gardner River (Tim Storer)

Vegetation of Gardner River (Tim Storer).


The Gardner River starts from just north of Northcliffe and then flows south east and then west opening into the ocean at Gardner Beach, just east of the settlement of Windy Harbour. The river flows through the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. The estuary of Gardner River is not within D’Entrecasteaux National Park but is considered a proposed addition.

Biological and physical values

The Gardner River discharges directly into the ocean, with a rock bar, open most, if not all, of the year. The river flows most of the year, and the surface water is fresh (less than one ppt). However, when river flow slackens, sea water flows back in underneath the outflowing fresh water, with little mixing between them.

Typical riparian vegetation includes species such as Agonis flexuosa, Banksia species and native willow (Callistachys lanceolata) which occur along the streams and swampy watercourses.

From a study undertaken in 2006/2007, four species of fish were recorded in the Gardner River, being:

  • western minnow (Galaxias occidentalis)
  • western pygmy perch (Nannoperca vittata)
  • nightfish (Bostockia porosa)
  • mud minnow (Galaxiella munda)

Of note, the western mud minnow (Galaxiella munda) is uncommon throughout most of its distribution; it is most abundant in creeks and streams of the Gardner River and Shannon River catchments.

Both marron and the freshwater crayfish species, the restricted gilgie (Cherax crassimanus) were also found, along with shrimp.

Current Conditions and Trends

The River was graded as being in very good condition with most sites being in pristine (A grade) condition.

Conservation Status



Large parts of the upper catchment of the Gardner River has been cleared for agricultural purposes. The river also runs close to the Northcliffe townsite.

Gardner River and Climate Change



SWCC Strategic Priority

Gardner River is identified within SWCC’s NRM Strategy as a second order priority asset under the Aquatic Biodiversity theme.





Header and thumbnail images supplied by Tim Storer


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