Wilson Inlet

Condition of the estuary 2016–19
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Ocean opening Seasonally open (artificial)
Estuary surface area 48 km²
Catchment area 2300 km²
Catchment: estuary ratio 48
Mean annual rainfall ~765 mm/yr
Mean annual discharge 157 GL/year
Catchment cleared 60%


City/town Denmark
Population 2300
Population growth rate 2.4% pa
People per estuary area 48
Shipping trade none
Commercial fishing ~12 licences
Recreation/tourism Boating, fishing, bird watching

The scenic Wilson Inlet is known for its natural beauty, diverse birdlife and opportunities for recreational activities, such as fishing and boating.

Concerns about water levels and nutrients entering Wilson Inlet in the 1990s led to a targeted action plan and strategies for opening the sandbar. Reduced river flows, a drying climate and seasonal changes mean that the existing sandbar opening strategy and catchment management actions need updating.

For Wilson Inlet, Healthy Estuaries WA will:

  • Support the Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee in the joint delivery of on-ground action and long term management strategies to care for Wilson Inlet
  • In partnership with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, farmers and 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

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