Carnarvon Fascine Entryway and Boat Harbour Pen Project

The Department of Transport is working in partnership with the Carnarvon community to implement a long-term strategy for access issues for the Fascine waterway.

In August 2020, the WA State Government allocated $7 million to the Department of Transport (DoT) to find a long-term strategy for Fascine access. The funding is part of the $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan. DoT is leading the project and is working collaboratively with the Gascoyne Development Commission, the Shire of Carnarvon and the Carnarvon Yacht Club to deliver the various elements of this project for the community of Carnarvon.

  Project overview

The Fascine is a waterway bordering the Carnarvon townsite and the Gascoyne River. It is one of the Carnarvonís key assets, linking the community to its coast.

In 2017, the sand spit that protected the Fascine entrance breached due to wave action. This triggered excessive siltation of the Fascine entrance. As a result, the Fascine has effectively been closed for most vessels for several years, with minimum depths of less than half a metre at low tide. Sand bars in the Fascine entrance and the channel alignment remain dynamic and constantly changed.

Siltation image

As the waterway manager the Shire of Carnarvon engaged a coastal engineering consultancy, to establish a plan for rebuilding and maintaining a navigation channel from the Fascine to Teggs Channel. This study was completed in June 2020 and it identified a dredged channel with north-south alignment on the east side of the Fascine entrance as the preferred solution. The study noted that training walls may be required to prevent the channel from filling in with sediment. In addition, medium to high level of ongoing maintenance dredging would be expected. Please see link to report below.

DoT has developed a program to deliver the long-term strategy for Fascine access. While the aim is to deliver a sustainable strategy as soon as possible, there is high risk of ongoing maintenance. It is important to gain a good understanding of the coastal processes and carefully investigate the options to try and minimise siltation of the channel and future maintenance costs. While this is being done, to provide some relief to the community more immediate actions are being implemented:

  • bringing forward the construction of additional boat pens in Carnarvon Boat Harbour to allow the relocation of vessels trapped in the Fascine to the Carnarvon Boat Harbour;
  • providing pen fee relief to relocated vessels once the new pens are complete;
  • regularly surveying the Fascine entrance to assist safe navigation; and
  • regularly re-assessing location of the channel markers in the entrance and relocating the markers as appropriate.


Video updated: Tuesday, 27 July 2021 2:09 PM

External Link Seashore report fascine entrance: Shire of Carnarvon website



  Project status

Long-term strategy for Fascine access

Hydrographic surveys were done by DoT in July and September 2020, with further surveys planned approximately every three months. These surveys will support studies by helping understand how sediment moves around in the Fascine entrance.

DoT also deployed instruments to collect wave and current data in early September 2020. The instruments will remain in place for at least one year. Wave and currents are the main drivers of sediment movement and the data, combined with the hydrographic surveys will help gaining an understanding of the sediment movement. The data will also be used as support and technical and environmental studies. Studies will be initiated progressively as the data becomes available, with the first studies anticipated to start late 2020.

Short-term measures

As use of the Fascine Boat Ramp is severely restricted, DoT has upgraded and reopened the boat ramp at the Carnarvon Boat Harbour. The intent is that this facility will remain open and available to recreational boat users until a long-term strategy to the Fascine entrance is implemented.

Regular hydrographic surveys of the Fascine Entrance have started. The latest hydrographic survey data of the Fascine entrance is available for vessels who wish to navigate the Fascine entrance. The entrance is too shallow to be formally considered as being navigable and vessels enter and exit at their own risk. (latest survey downloadable from documents tab below)

Channel markers indicating the navigable parts of the channel were relocated in November 2020 and redundant navigational aids were removed.

Additional boat pens for Carnarvon Boat Harbour

DoT has commenced work to construct new boat pens at the Carnarvon Boat Harbour and is working with stakeholders to ensure the best result for users.

If demand for the new pens is high, pens may be allocated by ballot, giving priority to vessels as follows:

  • Vessels that are currently in the boat harbour and will be displaced by new pens.
  • Carnarvon Yacht Club members that pay their membership and pen fees.
  • Vessels currently stuck within the Fascine, such as vessels on moorings.
  • Any new vessels that would like a pen, including vessels currently on the DoT waiting list for a pen in the boat harbour.

There will be a temporary fee relief until a long-term strategy for Fascine access is implemented. Vessels that are currently in the boat harbour and are relocated to the new pens will keep paying their current fees. Vessels coming from the Yacht Club will have to maintain their Yacht Club membership and keep paying pen fees at the Yacht Club but will have no additional fees to pay at the new pens. Other vessels would have to pay the full pen fees, in line with what vessels pay in facilities such as Exmouth. Once a long-term strategy for Fascine access is implemented, all fees will be aligned with fees charged at other DoT facilities.

If you would like register interest in a new pen in the boat harbour, or wish to subscribe to project newsletters by email, please send your contact details to 

External Link WA Recovery Plan
Page last updated: Tue Oct 19 2021 11:46:46 AM