Wallaga Lake is now open to the sea after Bega Valley Shire Council brought in an excavator to open the estuary on Tuesday afternoon, November 21.
A special request was put in with the Batemans Marine Park authority to open the lake prior to the normal trigger point being reached to allow much-needed repairs on the Wallaga Lake causeway road that had been eroding due to the high water.
The high water levels had caused some concern for residents around the lake worried about erosion and inundation at the Wallaga Lake bridge, causeway and holiday parks.
Coastal management officer Kyran Crane said the lake level prior to the opening was still 15cm below the 1.25m trigger point at Regatta Point and normally it was preferred to let the lake levels reach that point to allow the best possible opening.
But despite the early opening, indications on Wednesday morning were that it had been a good opening.
“It has scoured out quite nicely and hopefully it will stay open for a long period,” Mr Crane said.
The Wallaga Lake opening was delayed by a couple of days due to the Bega River overtopping its trigger point and the need to open that estuary at Mogareeka near Tathra taking precedent, he said.
The excavator made its way to the Wallaga Lake entrance on Tuesday morning entering at Camel Rock Beach car park and then making its way north over the Murunna headland.
We asked for photos from readers of the opening on Tuesday afternoon and were rewarded with some great photos and video, so thank-you for all the submissions.
Krysia St Clair of Fairhaven ventured out to Murunna Point along the headland to watch the opening of Wallaga Lake. "It took the excavator four hours to dig a channel for the water to flow out to sea,” she wrote on her post.
Sean Burke of Akolele meanwhile also photographed the opening and commented: “Doesn’t look to be a good opening yet but time will tell as the tide recedes. Opened too far south I reckon but maybe to cater for nesting Little Terns due soon.
And later he wrote: “Only a modest scour so far but still meeting the retreating ocean so hopefully a deep, wide scour by low tide in the early hours of tomorrow morning.”
Lindy Quin of Couria Creek also posted some fantastic photos of the opening progressing and also some videos of the excavator taking its final scoops.
Ron Webb posted a couple of shots of the start of the flow and then “sea view at last”.
Jason Moyce aka Trapman Bermagui posted a great drone photo of the lake opening. “Hoping to get an after pic from same height ... thanks for the pics, Kyran Cane”.
At the time of opening, he also posted this comment; “A quick pic of the opening of Wallaga Lake. It’s pouring out very fast now. Should see the difference in the lake levels in the morning.. the brown water flow is streaming down past Bermagui headland already. Should make good fishing along the beaches.”
And even some video of some local celebrating by popping a bottle of champagne!
“Bermi locals will use any excuse to have a drink hahaha love this guy celebrating the opening of the lake.. he didn’t have enough glasses.”