October 18, 2008

Dolphins spotted in the Brisbane River

612 ABC Radio Brisbane
Spencer Howson Breakfast Program
15 October 2008

612 Breakfast reporter Rebecca Levingston this morning is on a mission.

She's at the Goodna Boat Ramp on the Brisbane River with Ipswich Cr Paul Tully, who says a pair of dolphins have been spotted 75 kilometres upstream.

ABC reporter Rebecca Levingston at
the Goodna Boat Ramp off Noel Kelly
Drive looking for the pair of dolphins in
the upper reaches of the Brisbane River.

They were last seen at Barellan Point, but where are they now?

Ipswich City Councillor Paul Tully
keeps a watchful eye out for the
dolphins which have swum
75km from the mouth
of the Brisbane River.

Comments on ABC Website:

I drove along the magnificent riverside freeway the other afternoon, and the river looked an absolute picture, almost blue/green. How exciting to see the dolphins returning.
Posted by: Patty Oct 15, 2008

Hey Spencer - to anyone using or living on the river it should not come as a surprise to see dolphins returning to the river. I coach boys out of the Centenary Rowing club @ Jindalee in the past 2-3 years have witnessed previously unseen sights like dolphins and even kangaroos swimming in the river. We live on the beautiful Mermaid Reach of the Brisbane River @ Jindalee and spent over 1 1/2 hours a couple of years ago just watching a pod of 7 dolphins presumably following bait fish. I was very pleased to see another (smaller) pod of Dolphins last week (before all the rain) up around the Westlake stretch of the river. The sightings are not common but none the less, very welcome. Currently we are pulling in some great mud crabs - maybe you should pay us a visit?

[Hi Mark, thanks for the invitation. I was there at the end of 2006. Your Scout/rowing shed marked the beginning of 612's topless double-decker bus tour of Brisbane. If you see more dolphins, please take a pic for me. Cheers, Spencer]
Posted by: Captainmarkymark Oct 15, 2008

The Dolphins Are Trying To Tell Us Something
the CBD is hazy
and Mt Coot-tha shimmers in the sun
as we move toward Q2
there is nowhere to run

it's getting pretty steamy
the storm bird's early cry
the heat is on, the heat is on
and we're all gonna fry

the jacarandas are out already
it's warm for this time of year
they say clean coal will save us
but how it works is not so clear

I saw the Christmas carol sign
atop the River Stage
the seasons do not mean a thing
in this brave new day and age

the big wheel going round and round
but there's nothing here to see
a winding old, brown river
and Streets Beach full of wee

puppet politicians
dancing down George Street
festivals and cabarets
will make your life complete
Posted by: Megan Oct 15, 2008

'Dolphins spotted'-- sounds interesting.
What colour were the spots?
Posted by: Judi Cox Oct 15, 2008

If you have any pictures, videos or other
information about dolphins frolicking in
the Brisbane River, email
Cr Paul Tully.

Dolphin watch in the Brisbane River

Video of dolphins in the Brisbane River
in 2006 near the William Jolly Bridge.
(Courtesy of YouTube)

A pair of dolphins nicknamed Anna and Bligh has been reported in the past week in the upper reaches of the Brisbane River between Goodna and Barellan Point, near Karalee.

In an amazing display, the dolphins glided gracefully upstream past the junction of the Brisbane and Bremer Rivers - near the Moggill Ferry - heading towards the fresh water just below College's Crossing.

Anna and Bligh are named after a prominent Queenslander who is committed to the environment and who regularly swims upstream without looking back, sometimes through slightly troubled political waters like the Indooroopilly reach of the Brisbane River.

The amazing thing about the appearance of this pair of healthy mammals is that they were 75km upstream from the mouth of the Brisbane River - a whopping distance from the open sea and possibly the longest upstream journey ever made by dolphins in Australia.

In 2007, a pair of dolphins was sighted between Jindalee and Goodna but this week's sighting in the furthest upstream run made by dolphins which locals can recall.


Brisbane and Ipswich residents are being asked to keep an eye out for Anna and Bligh.

If you see any dolphins in the Brisbane River, especially upstream from the Jindalee or Goodna reaches of the river, call Cr Paul Tully on 3818 6900 or email as soon as possible to Cr Paul Tully.

Your still or video pictures would be most appreciated as these marvellous mammals venture upstream such an extraordinary distance.

All pictures and videos will be uploaded to this site as a pictorial record of this important dolphin adventure.

They are possibly the same pair of dolphins making their way up the Brisbane River on their annual marathon swim from Brisbane to Ipswich.


If you have any pictures, videos or other
information about dolphins frolicking in
the Brisbane River, email Cr Paul Tully