Torbay Inlet

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 Torbay Inlet is on the south coast of Western Australia, about halfway between the towns of Albany and Denmark, and is connected to two other main water bodies, Lake Powell and Manarup Lagoon. Torbay Inlet is a popular camping and recreation location for activities such as fishing, boating, birdwatching, hiking and kayaking.

Torbay catchment covers about 30,000 hectares, with most landholdings used primarily for beef farming. There are also a few specialty horticulture enterprises, several dairies and piggeries, and commercial tree plantations.


Torbay Inlet and the surrounding lake system has a long history of algal blooms, fish kills and poor water quality. Threats to the health of Torbay waterways stem from the historical clearing of land for agricultural use and the significant alteration of the natural drainage system, which is now dependent on manual operation to control wetland water levels and mitigate flooding.

The Torbay Catchment Group has identified seven management themes in the community-developed Torbay Restoration Plan. Healthy Estuaries WA will partner in four of the seven management themes:

  1. Algal blooms and water quality
  2. Water quantity
  3. Farming systems
  4. Community education and communication.

The most effective way to do that is with the extension of the Sustainable Agriculture strategy - a partnership between government, farmers, community groups, and the fertiliser and dairy industries.

Torbay farmers will now be eligible for soil testing under the fertiliser management project to reduce nutrient runoff from farms while supporting farm productivity. Over the next four years, additional partnership projects will be identified in consultation with the Torbay Catchment Group.

Partners

Torbay Catchment Group Website