The Bicol River is lined with bamboos, coconut (Cocos nucifera), banban (Donax sp.) and trees such as mambog or olaag (Nauclea orientalis), potat (Barringtonia asiatica), balete (Ficus sp.), acacia (Samanea saman), talisay (Terminalia catappa), raprap (Erythrina variegata), tan-ag (Kleinhovia hospita), palomaria/ipil-ipil (Leucaena leucocephala) and camachile (Pithecellobium dulce).

The fruit trees identified are mango (Mangifera indica) and star apple or caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito). The Focused Group Discussion (FDG) in the downstream towns of Gainza, Libmanan, Cabusao and Calabanga, listed the bakawan (Rhizophora spp.), lipata (Excoecaria agallocha), nipa (Nypa fruticans) and coconut as the most abundant plant species in these areas.


A recently conducted Bicol River Assessment documented 41 wildlife species along the river, 39 birds and 2 mammal species. The number of bird species is higher during the regular migration season. All of the species observed are common and occur throughout the year in any types of habitat or climate. One of the birds, the endemic Philippine Duck (Anas luzonica), is a globally threatened species listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is facing a high risk of extinction.

The Nipa Delta (Doncilia Island in the Municipality of Magarao), near the mouth of the river to San Miguel Bay, is home to more than 68 vertebrate species belonging to 54 genera under 58 families. Four species are mammals, 57 species are birds and five species are reptiles and two species are amphibians. A colony of large flying fox, one of the biggest bat species in the Philippines, roost in the island, In 2010, close to 600 bats settled near the middle of the island.

The most commonly caught fish species in the river is the common carp (Cyprinus carpio). It is followed by tilapia, hito, Indian carp (Catla sp., Cirrhinus sp. or Labeo sp.), burirawan (Strophidaesathete or Gymnothorax polyuranodon), bakla (Glossogobius giuris), shrimp(Macrobrachium sp.), eel (Anguilla sp.), talusog (Channa striata), mirapina (Trichopodus pectoralis), and puyo (Anabas testudineus). In the municipality of Camaligan, the fisherfolks also collect freshwater shells (Pila sp., Vivipara sp., Corbicula sp. or Nerita sp.)

Geology & Geomorphology

The Bicol River is bounded on the northeast by the Bicol Cordillera, which consists of a chain of volcanic mountains including Mount Iriga, Mount Malinao, Mount Masaraga and Mount Mayon. On the southwestern side lie the Ragay Hills, which consists of folded and faulted sedimentary formations including limestones, siltstones, conglomerates and shale. In between these higher areas lies the Bicol plain, which is composed of thick alluvial deposits of sand silt and clay.

The main geo-morphological features found in the area include the estuarine plain, a river flood plain, the piedmont plain and the valleys of incised creeks. The estuarine plain is level to nearly level and consists of fine fluvial-marine deposits over sandy layers with marine shells. The fluvial marine deposits are usually saline at depths of approximately 1 meter and includes depressed areas along the Bicol River. The river floodplain is made up of mixed alluvium. The piedmont plain on the fringe of the Ragay Hills consists of fine alluvium clay and reworked colluviums.


The climate is influenced by the Northeast Monsoon winds and the Pacific trade winds. These Monsoon winds create low-pressure area in the Pacific Ocean, resulting in tropical cyclones that affect the area in November and December.

The annual water runoff is 5,100 cubic meters. Rainfall occurs throughout the year with low rainfall between January to May and high rainfall between June and December. In the lower basin, mean annual rainfall ranges between 1,850-2,300 mm. The main factors influencing rainfall are the air streams, the inter-tropical convergence zone and topography.

The mean temperatures are high throughout the year with the daily mean temperatures in the range of 24.1°C to 28.1°C and an annual mean temperature of 27°C.


The numerous rivers, streams, creeks and lakes have endowed the Bicol Region with abundant water resources, both ground and surface, that serve as a natural drainage system particularly in the Bicol River basin area. The three freshwater lakes in Camarines Sur, namely Lake Bato (2,810 ha), Lake Buhi (1,800 ha) and Lake Baao (177 ha) provide the people living along with economic opportunities.

Bicol River

The Bicol River is the eighth largest river in the Philippines in terms of drainage basin size with an estimated catchment area of 3,770 km²

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