MidCoast Council began opening Smiths Lake earlier this afternoon.
MidCoast Council will open Smiths Lake today, Monday, October 11 as water levels rise and rain continues to fall in the catchment.
Timing of the opening is important to take advantage of the low tide on Tuesday morning and to meet the opening trigger.
Work over the weekend saw a multi-agency effort with officers monitoring the lake and advising users of the upcoming opening, boat ramps were closed on Sunday afternoon in preparation.
"During the opening we will be restricting boat access to the lake and only authorised officers will have access to Sandbar Beach," MidCoast Council water quality and estuary management co-ordinator, Prue Tucker said.
"Public access to the beach will be limited for safety reasons," Ms Tucker said.
The water can exit the lake with considerable force, creating dangerous currents and unstable conditions on the beach.
During the opening we will be restricting boat access to the lake and only authorised officers will have access to Sandbar Beach.MidCoast Council water quality and estuary management co-ordinator, Prue Tucker
It's advisable to stay away from the lake and beach for 36 hours after the opening.
Council has a policy to mechanically open the lake when it approaches 2.1 metres above sea level.
This action is outlined in the Coastal Zone Management Plan for Smiths Lake, the opening level takes into account environmental outcomes as well as to prevent minor flooding of property and roads.
"We've consulted key stakeholders, including local fishers, in reaching the decision to open the lake today," Ms Tucker said.
You can keep an eye on Smiths Lake water levels with real time data on the NSW Government website https://mhl.nsw.gov.au/Site-209465.
Careful consideration is being given to the exact timing of the opening.
Tides, swell conditions, predicted rainfall and lake levels all influence the effectiveness of an opening.