With recent rain, the water level at Lake Cathie has breached the 1.6 metre mark required for any potential artificial opening.
However essential dredging works to address erosion is currently taking place at the location. Any artificial opening would negatively impact this work.
According to current data collected under the NSW Coastal Data Network Program and managed by Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), the water level reached 1.604 metres on Monday, June 11 at 4pm.
Dredging works started at the Lake Cathie Reserve on Monday, May 21 and is expected to take seven weeks to complete.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council acting director Dan Croft said dredging while the lake is closed will allow the sand to settle and replenish the foreshore.
“The effectiveness and safety of the dredging work would be compromised if the lake was open and exposed to tides,” he said.
“Dredging is optimised when there is no influence of tidal forces that can move and wash away sand in the lake.
“This cannot be achieved if the lake is opened to the ocean.”
However Mr Croft said if a lot of rainfall is received in the near future, dredging may need to cease, and the lake may need to be opened.
The community is still able to use the lake during dredging, however to ensure public safety, access to certain areas may be restricted. The community is asked to obey all signage and exercise caution.
“The amount of sand to be moved equates to filling around eight and a half Olympic swimming pools, so we appreciate the community’s patience and care around the site,” Mr Croft said.
In late 2017, council applied to the NSW government for approval to dredge Lake Cathie, east of Ocean Drive, and in January 2018 funding of $175,000 was secured to complete the dredging. Council also contributed $175,000 to undertake the $350,000 program of work.