And she’s open again

And she’s open again

With sufficient water flows in the Snowy River, and a back up of water that was heading well into farming properties, the river mouth was successfully opened mechanically last Wednesday.

Working in dangerous conditions, with soft sand banks threatening to give way beneath them, Parks Victoria staff were contracted by East Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (EGCMA) to open the estuary, which had been cut off by sand and ceased to flow in mid March.

Last week favourable conditions and a sufficient water height, as measured at the gauge located on the public jetty in Marlo, meant the opening could take place as planned.

The work commenced last Tuesday and was completed on Wednesday, as the backed up waters rushed out into the seas, relieving the swollen river and the banks that it had flooded over.

Just up the hill from the opening, Kevin Reynolds, at Snowy River Bait and Tackle, told the Snowy River Mail yesterday that fishing was set to improve after a bad run thanks to the opening.

“Fishing is just starting to pick up a bit now,” he said.

“Its only just starting to get tidal so it’s getting better, but when it was closed it was pretty bad.”

Orbost Angler’s Jim Cochrane said the fishing wouldn’t really get going until the water had run off the farmland it had inundated during the mouth closure.

“The water is still running off the flats and is still pretty murky,” Mr Cochrane said.

“It’s running one way still but once all that clears and the tides start coming in the fishing should pick up. Another week and I’m expecting it to be really good.”

Now with the word getting out that the mouth is again open, social media is alive with previous visitors to the area, who come to fish the local waterways, indicating their plans to return in the coming months.

The Snowy estuary has required mechanical opening a number of times over the past few decades. There is little way of knowing how long each opening will last as it is reliant on water flows in the Snowy and Brodribb rivers.

EGCMA chief executive officer, Graeme Dear, said there was no guarantee the opening will sustain for a long period.

PICTURED: Waters backed up from the Snowy and Brodribb rivers surge through the estuary mouth last week after it was mechanically opened by Parks Victoria contractors. (Photo: Mike Irvine - Marlo Drone and Video)