Natural or unaffected by human activity, with extensive areas of remnant native vegetation in the catchment area. It is possible some creeks and lakes in remote areas of the State may be given a excellent rating, however the vast majority are likely to be affected by humans in some way.
Minimal changes to the animal and plant life and the way the ecosystem functions as a result of human settlement. These sites continue to provide a healthy environment for a natural diversity species.
Often the best we can expect given significant changes to the natural landscape after more than 170 years of European settlement. Although changes to the environment and its animal and plant life are likely to be relatively minor, there will be clear, emerging signs of human impact, which could lead to further decline.
Moderate changes to animal and plant life at the site, and some change to the way the ecosystem functions. The effects of nutrient enrichment are often evident. The condition of these creeks and lakes is unlikely to meet community expectations for a healthy aquatic ecosystem at least some of the time.
These creeks or lakes are degraded, with evidence of major changes in the animal community and plant life, and moderate changes to the way the ecosystem functions. These sites typically have little native vegetation remaining and very high nutrient levels. Their condition is unlikely to meet community expectations for a healthy aquatic ecosystem most of the time.
Major changes to both the animal and plant life are apparent with a significant breakdown in the way the ecosystem functions because of human impact. These creeks and lakes are unlikely to meet community expectations for a healthy aquatic ecosystem.