Boating & Fishing

Important Note

In line with the Queensland Government's easing of the COVID-19 restrictions, the following facilities have now been re-opened.

  • Loam Island Boat Ramp
    • Motorised boats and water skiing permitted on Ross River (including Black Weir), provided social distancing and hygiene are maintained, it’s within 50 kilometres of your home and outings are limited to members of the same household or an individual and one friend.
    • Ross River is still open to people who wish to kayak or paddle.

Effective 1 April, 2020 new guidelines have been put in place by the Federal Government aimed to slow the spread of COVID-19, meaning only essential boating and fishing activities are allowed. Council Public Ski Permits will be unavailable during this time. Essential boating and fishing purposes include travelling to and from work, to local shops for essentials or catching fish for their families.

Council has a number of locations for boating and fishing including Black Weir. We also have a range of boat ramps throughout the Townsville region.

Black Weir boating permits

Due to high demand, all water ski vessels require a permit to operate on Black Weir. General boating and fishing vessels do not require a permit.

You can book a permit for Black Weir online via our Black Weir site. The booking system allows you to book up to seven days in advance.

Weed Harvesting

Aplins Weir before weed harvestingTownsville's dry weather over the past two years has contributed to a build-up of weed. This has affected the health and recreational use of our Ross River.

Council has secured a weed harvester that will help combat this issue.

The harvested weed will be deposited on the banks of the river and treated with microorganisms. This treatment will speed up the natural break down of the weed and eliminate any unpleasant odours.

Harvesting the weed is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly solution. The removed weed will not re-contaminate the river.Aplins Weir after weed harvesting

The harvester generally operates at either Aplins Weir or Blacks Weir, due to the large amount of weed affecting the recreational use of these Weirs.

Gleeson’s Weir has been identified as high risk due to its rocky bed and shallow waters. The weed harvester will not be able to operate in this weir, alternative options are being considered.

The harvester will be cleaned down and serviced in between Weirs.

Boat Ramps

Townsville has a number of boat ramps available for launching your boat.

Townsville City Council is the managing authority for all of these ramps, with the exception of the Ross Creek Boat Ramp. *Ross Creek is managed by the Townsville Port Authority.

Boat Ramp Ramp LanesPontoons Parking for cars with trailers Additional parking
Balgal Beach 1 1 30 20
Toomulla Saltwater Creek 1   10 20
Bluewater (off Jaloonda Road) 1   15  
Saunders Beach 1   15  
Stoney Creek (Mount Low) 1   30 20
Cape Pallarenda 3 1 30 20
Ross Creek* * 9 1 87  
Barnicle Street 4   48 20
Loam Island 1   10  
Picnic Bay 1   50  
Nelly Bay 2   48 27 (car only)
Horseshoe Bay 1   6 15 (car only)
Cungulla 1   10  
Townsville Recreational Boating Park (TRBP) (South Townsville)


2 220 Yes

Townsville City Council is the managing authority for all of these ramps, with the exception of the Ross Creek Boat Ramp.

*Ross Creek is managed by the Townsville Port Authority