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Letter to the editor

Pictured above: Horseshoe Bay Lagoon 1961



Please have a good look at the aerial photo, which looks as though it was taken in the wet season of 1961.


Notice the Jetty and the Mango Farm, the creek from the lagoon joining Endeavour Creek behind the new toilet block/Sandies and the extent of the Lagoon.


Horseshoe Bay Lagoon was always a tidal lagoon….. same as the tidal ephemeral creeks….. that the Mango farmer built a earth dam across the lagoon as can be seen in the photo, to keep the salt controlled to the lower portion of the lagoon, to retain fresh water on the upper side for the Mango trees. The remnants of the dam wall still exist today.


The periodic/tidal saltwater controls the weeds and that weed control in yesteryear was much more in extent to the left of the dam. Smaller Tea Trees dying is because they grew recently and in the altered environment. If aged Tea trees are dying is because the age old environment has been altered.


In Recent history, I remember Nat Parks doing a huge amount of remedial manual labour in that Lagoon that I am forever impressed about….. rebuilding/revitalising what was historically.


The Lagoon collects water from the “Flats” right across depth and breadth of the bay where Endeavour creek collects water from the western hills, then flowing through the old sand mine, exiting the sand mine as two parallel creeks, then Endeavour Creek collects the water from the Lagoon behind the new toilet block/Sandies and all exiting to the east under the Balding Bay range. All Magnetic Island Creeks tend to exit to the east.


While looking at the photo, you might see the two parallel creeks of Endeavour creek………….. one which shows as the thickened growth that is from the west to east of the entire bay and the other is forward of that to the beach as an overflow or  “High flow” event creek that takes short term extra high flow out across the beach adjacent to the western end of the esplanade. “high flow” events typically take place at 1.00 to 2.00am…. in the dark when most are asleep.


About the same time as this photo the massive dam at the end of the sand mine was built, stopping water flow and sand replenishment to the eastern end of the bay for the past 60+ years. That massive dam failing and lowering of the sewage station dams adjacent to Turtle hospital has now seen partial restoration of the Endeavour creek flow to the east. I don’t know anyone who could possibly remember Endeavour Creek flowing (Except tidal) under the Horseshoe Bay road. This the first time in 60+ years.


Might see the Geese, Ducks, Jabiru, Crocs, Barra, Canoes, paddleboards and fisherfolk behind the shops if some decided to clean up that section of creek. The real  eco-environmental tourist type stuff….. real restoration of what was where possible.


You might also notice the young fig trees of the esplanade.




                                        Mike Schmidt.

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