A hydrodynamic study of the Wallis Lake estuary will be carried out to find short and long-term dredging solutions to improve navigation near the entrance of Wallis Lake and help prevent the smothering of oyster leases caused by sand shoaling.
Nationals Member for Myall Lakes Stephen Bromhead said the study is the result of recent work undertaken by the oyster growing industry, Crown Lands, and the MidCoast Council to map potential sites for the placement of sand once dredged.
“The modelling undertaken by Transport for NSW as part of this hydrodynamic study will enable us to ensure any dredging solutions for Wallis Lake will benefit both recreational and commercial users of the waterway whilst maintaining our river system,” Mr Bromhead said.
“From boat tours to fishing and oyster farming, Wallis Lake is a driver of jobs for our community, this modelling will identify options which work for every section of our community, be it industry, tourism or leisure.
“This will give us a better understanding of issues associated with navigation in and around the entrance of Wallis Lake and the smothering of oyster leases – and allow us to make more informed decisions on possible solutions, including where to dredge.”
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the study will be an important step forward for the entire Myall Lakes Community.
“This is about multiple levels of government, industry groups and community working together to achieve one thing—a lake that can be used and enjoyed for generations to come,” Mr Toole said.
“We know just how important the oyster industry is to our State. In 2018-2019 it produced about 76 million oysters worth $59 million at the farm gate, that’s why this study will identify solutions to properly cater to the needs of the industry while also supporting better access to the lake for vessels.”
NSW Maritime Acting Executive Director Hendrik Clasie said Wallis Lake has been identified as a key investment location in the Maritime Infrastructure Plan and the Coastal Dredging Strategy
“Wallis Lake has been prioritised for dredging as part of NSW Maritime’s goal to improve accessibility to key coastal locations, river entrances and local waterways, supporting economic growth opportunities through improved navigation for commercial and recreational vessels,” Mr Clasie said.
“The hydrodynamic study will allow us to look at the estuary’s response to different dredge scenarios, to model where the sand shoals move over time and, from this, to identify where best to dredge in the short term and the long term.”
Boaters will continue to have access to the lake while the study is being carried out.