THE mouth of Wreck Creek in Inverloch was artificially opened last week to prevent flooding of nearby properties.
Bass Coast Shire Council together with the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority measured the water quality prior to the opening and found that it was environmentally suitable to proceed.
Wreck Creek has been monitored in the past month for the possibility of an artificial opening to minimise flooding to low lying properties nearby.
Bass Coast Mayor, Cr Pamela Rothfield, commented on the involvement of Council and environmental impacts in the opening of the creek.
“While we always try to allow nature to run its course, and interfere as little as possible, sometimes we need to step in,” Cr Rothfield said.
“As always, we are thorough in our research to ensure our steps have no negative impact on the environment.”
It is important prior to any artificial waterway opening to check the water quality conditions. These conditions have a direct impact on the flora and fauna.
For example, at Wreck Creek water quality was tested to ensure the opening would not have a negative impact on fish life.
In the water of an estuary such as Wreck Creek oxygen levels separate: Dissolved oxygen levels in the bottom waters are low forcing fish and other aquatic invertebrates to live in the more oxygenated top waters.
When an artificial opening occurs, if water quality conditions are not correct, the fish and aquatic invertebrates can suffocate as the top waters are the first to be released with all the oxygen.
In this instance the prior research and testing deemed that it was environmentally safe to open Wreck Creek.
Inverloch’s Wreck Creek opened