Mooball Creek

Our water quality monitoring program has shown Mooball Creek to have good water quality. Find out more about the estuary and its unique features.

Mooball Creek flows parallel to the coast and enters the sea at Pottsville on the north coast of New South Wales.

This estuary is classed as a barrier river. Its entrance is trained using rocky break walls to ensure the estuary remains open to the sea.

Estuary health and features

Water quality

As part of our water quality monitoring program we assess the water quality and ecosystem health of an estuary using a range of relevant indicators. We sample a subset of the estuaries located between the Queensland border and Taree every 3 years. The most recent sampling in Mooball Creek was completed over the 2015–16 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Mooball Creek water quality report card for algae and water clarity showing colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green, which represent very poor, poor, fair, good and excellent, respectively). Algae is rated 'good' and water clarity is rated 'good' giving an overall rating of 'good' or 'B'.

This report card represents 2 water quality indicators that we routinely measure: the amount of algae present and water clarity. Low levels of these 2 indicators equate with good water quality.

The report card shows the condition of the estuary was good with:

  • algae abundance graded excellent (A)
  • water clarity graded good (B)
  • overall estuary health graded good (B).

Find out more about our estuary report cards and what each grade means. Read our sampling, data analysis and reporting protocols and find out how we calculate these grades.

We have monitored water quality in Mooball Creek since 2012. This table shows the water quality grades for this estuary over that time.

Mooball Creek historic water quality grades from 2012-13 for algae and water clarity. Colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green represent very poor (E), poor (D), fair (C), good (B) and excellent (A), respectively).

Grades for algae, water clarity and overall are represented as:

  • A – excellent
  • B – good
  • C – fair
  • D – poor
  • E – very poor.

Physical characteristics

Estuary type: Barrier river

Latitude (ºS) –28.39
Longitude (ºE) 153.57
Catchment area (km2) 109.1
Estuary area (km2) 0.5
Estuary volume (ML) 351.3
Average depth (m) 0.7

Tidal exchange volume

Tidal exchange volume or tidal prism data is available for this estuary. This tidal prism was measured in 1993.

Tide state Flow
(106 m3)
Local tidal
range (m)
Sydney Harbour
tidal range (m)
Ebb flow 0.63 0.96 1.46
Flood flow 0.55 0.96 1.52
Notes: km2 = square kilometres; m = metres; m3 = cubic metres; ML = megalitres.

Water depth and survey data

Bathymetric and coastal topography data for this estuary are available in our data portal.

Land use

Mooball Creek catchment is highly disturbed. Several smaller creeks drain the catchment, of which about two thirds has been modified. Cattle and sugarcane production are the main agricultural practices in this area. Parts of the upper catchment in and around Mooball National Park remain forested, and make up about one third of the land use.

National and marine parks

Mooball Creek

Local government management

Local councils manage estuaries within their area unless the estuary is attached to a marine park. Tweed Shire Council manage this estuary.