THE entrance of Wreck Creek on the western edge of Inverloch was artificially opened on Sunday, April 5.

This small coastal lagoon intermittently opens and closes naturally, in a constant but irregular cycle, according to Jodi Kennedy, council’s general manager resilient communities.

“It’s a balance of catchment flows, which scour out the entrance, while the tides, waves and winds gradually act to close it,” Ms Kennedy said.

“When water levels rise in Wreck Creek following rainfall, this can lead to flooding of private and public properties and infrastructure adjacent to the lagoon foreshore. Consequently, the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) and Bass Coast Shire Council (BCSC) periodically undertake manual (ie artificial) opening of the estuary using heavy equipment to dig a channel through the sand berm.

“Prior to the opening, the water quality is tested by the West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority (WGCMA) to ensure the correct level of oxygen is present in the water. This check ensures that the artificial opening does not cause suffocation of fish or have other potentially negative impacts on the local estuarine ecology.”