eudlo creek catchmentMajor Towns: Eudlo

Subcatchment Area: 8150 Ha

Rainfall: 6115 mm/yr (Eudlo)

Major land Uses:

  • Native Vegetation – 3660 Ha
  • Cropping – 2010 Ha (Including Sugar Cane)
  • Grazing – 1045 Ha

The upper catchment is almost devoid of vegetation due to clearing for grazing and residential areas, but originally supported closed forests of Blackbutt (Eucalyptus pilularis) and Blood wood (Eucalyptus sp.).

The northern side of the creek supports remnant areas of Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) and Bloodwood (Eucalyptus sp.)  open forest on the crests and upper slopes of the low, steep hills that form the northern subcatchment boundary. This grades into Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus grandis) closed forest on the lower slopes and drainage lines.

The southern side of the subcatchment supports open forests of Blackbutt and Bloodwood on the crests and slopes of the steep low hills that form the subcatchment boundary.

The alluvial plain that hugs the creek line is populated by remnants of Forest Red Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) open forest in the upper catchment, which grades to open forests of Tea-tree (Melaleuca sp.) in the lower catchment. The area adjacent to the creek mouth supports closed forest of Swamp She oak (Casuarina glauca) and Tea-Tree (Melaleuca sp.). There are several areas of freshwater wetlands on the alluvial plain, in the area of Forest Glen. These wetlands are populated by Broad-leaved Tea-tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia). The intertidal area immediately surrounding the creek is populated by woodlands of Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina) and Red Mangrove (Rhizophora stylosa) interspersed with saltwater grasslands.

Eudlo Creek drains the southernmost quarter of the Maroochy river. Bounded by the Mooloolah Range on its southern margin, it rises in the steep slopes of the Blackall Range, and joins the main channel of the Maroochy River in its estuary just upstream from Maroochydore, close to the mouth of Petrie Creek.

The catchment rises in the escarpment of the Blackall Range, which has a thin band of soils derived from Laterised Tertiary Basalt along the lip of the escarpment. The steep slopes of the escarpment are derived from sandstone, and this landform continues along the southern side of the catchment, forming the Mooloolah Range.

The north side of the catchment is derived from Laterised Sandstone, forming the low hills that form the catchment boundary.

The drainage line has developed an area of undifferentiated freshwater alluvium of silt, clay and larger sediments immediately adjacent to the watercourse, dividing the two different parent materials on the north and south sides of the creek.

The mouth of the creek is formed of Holocene windblown sand deposits. This area is subject to tidal inundation, and is mixed with riverine mud sediments.

Mangroves in Eudlo Creek

The major land uses of the subcatchment are native vegetation, which covers approx. 45 % of the subcatchment, cropping (including sugar cane) which covers 25%, and grazing of both beef and dairy cattle, which covers 12%.  The remnant native vegetation is concentrated on the mid to upper slopes of the low, steep hills that form the boundary of the subcatchment, with very little in the riparian zone. Most of this vegetation is in small fragments, with only a small percentage in the reserve system. The second largest land use, cropping is concentrated in the mid to lower subcatchment, where the land becomes undulating, and the cropping areas are found on the ridges and crests of the low hills.  Grazing, the third largest land use in terms of area is concentrated in the upper subcatchment, mostly in the alluvial areas where the soil is of higher quality. A land use practice that utilizes only a small area, but of note, is the sand and gravel extraction operations being conducted on the alluvial plain halfway down the subcatchment. These operations have obvious implications for water quality.

Eudlo Mainstreet

The main street of Eudlo township

The State of the Rivers report of 1992 gave Eudlo creek a wide range of ratings, from very good to highly degraded. The sections rated good to very good amount to 35 % of the total stream length, with the majority being in the wetlands in the Forest Glen area and in the headwaters in the Landers Shoot area.  However, the remainder of the creek was degraded to some degree, especially in the stability of the bed and bars, and in the general shallowness of the pool environments. 70% of the riparian vegetation was rated as very poor.