Council scraping sandbank at Tallow Creek

Published on 04 September 2018

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Byron Shire Council today scraped the sandbar at Tallow Creek to aid the creek mouth to naturally open to the ocean.

Recent rain has seen the water levels rise, more rain is predicted and water quality is declining and for these reasons Council, with approval from the National Parks and Wildlife Service and DPI Fisheries, scraped the build-up of sand back to see if Tallow Creek will open naturally.

Tallow Creek is an Intermittently Closed and Open Lake / Lagoon (ICOLL), one of many on the Australian coastline that opens and closes to the ocean naturally over time.

Byron Shire Council’s Coastal and Biodiversity Coordinator, Chloe Dowsett, said Council has a licence from the NPWS and DPI Fisheries to artificially open Tallow Creek but only when water levels reach 2.2m AHD.

Water levels in Tallow Creek have been high for several months and sitting just below the level of 2.2m AHD which is the trigger Council needs to open the waterway to the ocean.

“Water levels have been high but not high enough for us to be able to open the creek and there has been some flooding into people’s yards and beach access from the public walkway is not available either,” Ms Dowsett said.

“If the scraping is not successful Council will be submitting a request to NPWS and DPI Fisheries to open the creek in seven days because tests this week indicate water quality is declining,” Ms Dowsett said.

“There is potential for a fish kill event to occur whether Tallow Creek opens naturally or artificially, however if undertaken by Council the opening will be carried out in accordance with the methods and timing set out in the management plan and licence in an effort to reduce the possibility of a fish kill event,” Ms Dowsett said.

For more information contact Chloe Dowsett, Coastal and Biodiversity Coordinator, on 6626 7128 or 0427 210 516.