Boating & Fishing

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.

Important Changes to Recreational Use – Black Weir

At the direction of Maritime Safety Queensland, under Marine Safety Notice:

  1. Zone C (6 knot area) has been extended downstream, reducing the 40 knot section of water (Zone B). Permitted Water Ski Vessels at any time within Zone B has been reduced to three.
  2. A person (an operator) must not operate a ship towing an uncontrolled water-skiing device, including but not limited to, a toboggan, tube or sea-biscuit. Applies to all zones within Black Weir.

Please see the attached Marine Notice for more information.

For more detailed information about Restricted areas and Speed limits please visit the relevant Maritime Safety Queensland web pages.

Weed Harvesting

Temporary Waterway Barrier Notification

Temporary waterway barriers (or booms) have been inserted into Black Weir to assist with current weed management, including weed harvesting. One is located within the 6 knot zone between Zone’s A and B (adjacent to the Vickers Bridge), the other located in the 6 knot zone at the Zone C/D junction (approx. 100m upstream of the Loam Island Community Facility).

It is safe for motorised vessels to travel over these barriers (at the 6 knot speed limit through each zone), however there will also be a slip zone at one end to transverse through if required.

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.

The harvester is currently in action in Aplins Weir. The operation of the harvester has been extended in Aplins Weir due to the large amount of weed affecting the recreational use of the Weir. The harvester will focus on widen rowing lanes for upcoming events.

Aplins Weir after weed harvesting 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.

Location Estimated timeframe Aquatic weed density
Blacks Weir4 July to 21 September 2018High
Both submerged and
surface weeds
Aplins Weir 2 October to 18 December 2018 High
Mainly submerged 
Moderate surface weeds

NB: the above timeframes are subject to change

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.

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