Sydenham Inlet artificially unlocked

Sydenham Inlet artificially unlocked

Favourable conditions saw Bemm River’s Sydenham Inlet artificially opened last Thursday, March 28, with almost immediate benefits.

Recent rainfall had filled the lake to around 1.8 metres, which meant that conditions were favourable for Parks Victoria to artificially open the entrance with lake levels now subsiding.

The Sydenham Inlet estuary closes frequently, between one and four occasions each year, with the duration of the closures typically ranging between three weeks and seven months, although the average is under two months. On this occasion the inlet had been closed since August last year.

The entrance opening level has been set historically at a point where inundation of farmland protected by levees is reached, a level of 1.6 metres, which can be viewed on the gauge at the boat ramp.

The East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) is the lead agency regarding decisions to open estuaries in the region with actual openings completed by Parks Victoria.

“We will continue to monitor water levels and stream flows into the estuary and provide further advice if the entrance closes again,” EGCMA chief executive officer, Graeme Dear, said.

Mark Cunningham, at Bemm River Bait and Tackle, said having Sydenham Inlet open once again means he can now get back down to business.

“It was opened up on Thursday and most of the water had gone by Friday,” he said.

“The fishing was pretty good on Friday, but then the rotten weather set in on the weekend.

“But now that it’s back open I can get back out pumping bait. Hopefully we can now look forward to a good fishing season.”

The Sydenham Inlet opening follows the recent artificial opening of the Mallacoota estuary and the natural closure of the Snowy River mouth at Marlo.