Qld authorities removed 84 crocs in 2017

Ed Jackson and Sonia Kohlbacher

A record number of "problem" crocodiles were removed from north Queensland waters in the past 12 months, a Queensland government report reveals.

The Queensland Crocodile Management Update released on Friday showed 84 crocodiles were removed in 2017, mostly in coastal waters between Townsville and Port Douglas.

The report is the first annual update in the three-year management plan, launched by the government last year.

As well as the removals, authorities investigated eight unlawful deaths of crocodiles resulting in three prosecutions.

State environment minister Leeanne Enoch said the management plan would give authorities a better understanding of Queensland's crocodile population.

"Once the results from the crocodile monitoring program are fully analysed, they will allow us to review our overall approach to crocodile management and how best to communicate about how to stay Crocwise in Croc country," Ms Enoch said.

Since April last year, the Department of Environment and Science has surveyed over 30 river systems through boats and helicopters, with 684 estuarine crocodile sightings reported.

Six waterways south of Rockhampton - outside normal crocodile habitat - were also surveyed with no crocodiles observed.

The government has also announced that drones will be used across popular beaches in the state's far north.

Eighteen surf life savers stationed between Mission Beach and Port Douglas will be trained to use three drones to spot the predators and pass on their location to wildlife officers.

The monitoring program is set to conclude in late 2019 with a detailed report to be prepared in 2020.