There are over 20,000 kilometres of river systems in the Fitzroy Region. Freshwater rivers hold, transport and release water along their journey to the coast. Rivers provide habitat and aquatic refuge for a number of species including fish such as the Fitzroy golden perch and prehistoric-looking saratoga. Freshwater systems provide water for a wide range of uses including drinking water, industries including grazing, and provide scenic, recreational, social and cultural values. Some feeder streams are ephemeral, which means they dry up during the dry season and then come alive in the wet season, channelling water into the system.
While some freshwater habitats remain in good condition, many have been degraded by historical and continuing land use practices.
There are 28 dams and weirs across the basin. The Connors River is the only tributary within the Fitzroy Basin that is not directly impacted by major dams or weirs; indirect impacts still occur in the form of downstream barriers to aquatic fauna passage.
Dams and weirs change the natural flows and patterns of wetting and drying that are important for some of the ecosystems and to the basin’s biodiversity. Many of the freshwater habitats of central Queensland have evolved to be seasonally dry (ephemeral) but also periodically flooded.
To see the trending health condition of the Fitzroy go to this page for a report card.