Wetland Health Monitoring

Our wetland scientists monitor the health of large water bodies to ensure they remain free from environmental issues such as eutrophication, poor water quality, algal outbreaks, weed dominance, mosquito and midge booms, fish kills and invasive species dominance.

Serving Greater Sydney & Perth Regions

Monitoring wetland health is critical to ensure the ‘ecological character’ of the water body remains intact. If change is occurring, we need to understand the cause and then develop a management strategy to restore the wetland to its pre-disturbed condition. Monitoring requires systematic collection of data repeated over time, and PASES Aqua uses a range of indicators to monitor wetland health (modified from National Land and Water Audit):

Catchment disturbance Land use category
Land cover change
Natural disturbances – fire, drought, floods
Area of wetland % change in wetland area
Loss in area of original wetland
Wetland topography % of wetland where activities have resulted in change in bathymetry
Degree of sedimentation/erosion
% change in bathymetry
Soil Disturbance % and severity of wetland soil disturbance
Substrate disturbance
Local physical modifications to hydrology inflow, drainage and extraction Severity of activities that change the water regime
Impact of man made structures
Changes to water regime
Turbidity regime % change in Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU)
Salinity regime
Change in pH, ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, KH, GH, Phosphates, Dissolved oxygen, Ca,,Mg etc, Substrate, composition/soil properties Salinity,soil pH, soil depth, soil colour, soil texture
Change in fringing zone (measured by change in vegetation condition) % of fringing vegetation that is intact
% of natural and exotic vegetation
Change in soft bodied aquatic macrophytes % cover of soft bodied aquatic macrophytes
Change in hard bodied aquatic macrophytes % cover of hard bodied aquatic macrophytes
Change in invertebrate diversity and community composition Species richness and community composition, abundance of mosquitoe and midge larvae
Change in wetland dependent vertebrates, presence, breeding and abundance Turtles, Birds, Snakes, Amphibians
Change in introduced species presence and abundance % change in feral fish sp richness and numbers
% change in weed sp richness and numbers
Change in algae species and abundance % change in phytoplankton species –species richness and densities (cell counts)
% change in filamentous
species – species richness and % cover

There are times when resources are not available to measure all indicators. In this situation, PASES Aqua will assess the most important indicators to assess and maintain the integrity of the wetland.

Frequently asked questions

Monitoring would always be a critical step to determine the condition of the lakes, followed by active management when required. If ecosystem health is not monitored for extended periods, it could quickly become degraded and irreversible, with a significant investment required to get it back to its original condition.  Hence, regular monitoring is not only cost efficient, but would create significant benefits to the local community and the lakes aquatic inhabitants. 

The greater the native species diversity (richness and abundance) of macroinvertebrates, fish and frogs – the more likely it is a healthy waterbody. The dominance of pest species can indicate a degraded waterbody and which would require active management

Typical water quality parameters we would assess include:

  • Ammonia
  • Nitrite
  • Nitrate
  • Phosphate
  • pH
  • General hardness
  • Carbonate hardness
  • Turbidity
  • Dissolved oxygen concentration
  • Iron
  • Copper

Other water quality parameters can also be measured, on request. 

Related services

We have the drive, the passion, and the knowledge to help you. We employ the right people with a strong background in fish, and/or qualifications in Biology or Aquaculture and/or related fields