Archer River

The Archer River is a river located on the Cape York Peninsula, Far North Queensland, Australia.

Archer
Archer River, Cape York
Location of Archer River mouth in Queensland
Location
CountryAustralia
StateQueensland
RegionFar North Queensland
SettlementAurukun
Physical characteristics
SourceMcIlwraith Range
  locationnorth of Coen
  elevation138 m (453 ft)
MouthGulf of Carpentaria
  location
Archer Bay
  coordinates
13°25′12″S 141°43′9″E
  elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length268 km (167 mi)
Basin size13,820 km2 (5,340 sq mi)
Discharge 
  average222 m3/s (7,800 cu ft/s)
Basin features
Tributaries 
  leftCoen River
  rightThe Dry River
National parkOyala Thumotang National Park
[1]

Course and features

The headwaters of the river rise in the McIlwraith Range and it flows west, traversing tropical savanna plains and wetlands, flowing through Piccaninny Plains Sanctuary and Oyala Thumotang National Park, and enters the Archer Bay in the Gulf of Carpentaria on the western side of the peninsula near the town of Aurukun along with the Watson River and the Ward River.

The catchment area for the Archer River is 13,820 square kilometres (5,336 sq mi).[2] During the wet season between November and April, the river floods, replenishing over a million hectares of wetlands.[3] The Coen River is a tributary of the Archer River.

The river remains in a natural state with very little development and just one small dam that supplies water for the town of Coen.[2] On 3 April 2009, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh announced the Archer River would be included under the Wild Rivers Act, 2005 (Qld).[4] The declaration means the river's fragile ecosystems will be protected by allowing only sustainable activities within its catchment.

The river has an average discharge of 7,010 gigalitres (9.169×109 cu yd) per annum.[5]

Flora and fauna

Much of the river is bordered by fig-dominated gallery rainforests, which provide habitat for animals such as the white-tailed rat, spotted cuscus and palm cockatoo. Toothless catfish are found in the river.

A total of 45 species of fish have been found in the river, including the glassfish, barred grunter, silver cobbler, fly-specked hardyhead, mouth almighty, goby, barramundi, oxeye herring, eastern rainbowfish, bony bream, gulf saratoga, giant gudgeon, freshwater longtom and seven-spot archerfish.[6]

History

The traditional owners of the area are the Wik,[7] Kaantju[8] and Wikampama peoples.[9]

The river was named in 1865 by Francis Lascelles Jardine and Alexander Jardine during an expedition through the area. They named the river after the Archer brothers of Gracemere in Rockhampton. The river had probably been named Dubbelde Ree by Willem Jansz in 1606 and later named Coen River by Jan Carstensz in 1623 and then named Peach River by Robert Logan Jack in 1879.[10]

See also

References

  1. "Map of Archer River, QLD". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 6 June 2015.
  2. "Water resources - Overview - Queensland - Archer River". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Archived from the original on 22 June 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  3. "Wild Rivers: Archer River". Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  4. "Divisions run deep in Qld Wild Rivers debate". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 20 April 2009. Archived from the original on 21 April 2009. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  5. Smith, Murray; Hafeez, Mohsin. "Optimising Australia's contribution to Asia's food bowl" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
  6. "Archer River catchment". Fish Atlas of North Australia. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
  7. "Wik-Munkan". AusAnthrop Australian Aboriginal tribal database. AusAnthrop. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  8. "Kandju". AusAnthrop Australian Aboriginal tribal database. AusAnthrop. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  9. "Wikampama". AusAnthrop Australian Aboriginal tribal database. AusAnthrop. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
  10. "Coen River (entry 764)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 14 June 2014.
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