The picturesque Oyster Harbour is highly valued for its role in history, tourism, biodiversity and production (commercial and recreational fishing and oyster and mussel farming). Including a set of Fish traps built near the mouth of the Kalgan River in Oyster Harbour approximately 7000 years ago and remain sacred to the Menang people.
Unfortunately due to extensive clearing and eutrophication within the catchment the harbour's ecosystem collapsed in the 1990s with significant loss to the seagrass and fish population. It has been recovering since, but there is need to boost the active management of waterways and increase actions to improve water quality in the region.
The Oyster Harbour area is in the south of the Southern Agricultural Region. Land use varies with the northern end of the catchment dominated by cropping (wheat, canola and barley) and sheep production. The central region consists mainly of sheep and cattle production with some viticulture and agro-forestry. The lower part of the catchment includes cattle and sheep production, intensive horticulture and agro-forestry plantations.
The northern third is dominated by mixed cropping and sheep production with some enterprises cropping up to 80 per cent of the farm. Canola, wheat and barley are common with some summer crops. Sheep production for fat lambs is growing in popularity with wool-producing Merinos still common. The central portions of the catchment are very varied with mainly sheep for wool and meat with smaller areas of cattle production dominant. In the central and northern portions however there are large areas of tertiary sediments overlaying granitic bedrock. There is also a significant area of blue gums in the area receiving more than 600 mm rainfall and some areas of viticulture around the Porongurup Ranges. In the south below the Porongurup Ranges the rainfall rapidly increases. Cattle and sheep farming is dominant with large areas of blue gums. Some areas of intensive horticulture can be found with strawberries, cherries, avocadoes and vegetables grown for both local and export markets. Closer to Albany there is an increasing urban and peri-urban population.