Watching Smiths Lake levels

Published on 20 September 2021


MidCoast Council is closely watching Smith Lakes levels in case an opening is needed, after 100mm of rainfall was recorded last week.

“We monitor the Lake levels and weather forecast closely once the water level approaches the trigger for opening,” said Council’s Water Quality and Estuary Coordinator, Prue Tucker.

“At this stage predicted weather conditions do not warrant an opening. However, with predicted wet weather probable for the coming months, it is very likely that an opening will be required in the near future.”

Smiths Lake is known as an Intermittently Closed and Open Lake or Lagoon.

“This type of Lake naturally opens to the ocean in response to water levels in the lake and they close as a result of sand movement from waves, tides and wind.  

“Smiths Lake is opened manually to prevent minor flooding of property and roads in an environmentally sensitive way.”

Council opens the Lake at the established 2.1 metres trigger or when the trigger is predicted to occur during a forecast major rain event. Today, Monday 20 September, Smiths Lake’s level is 1.86 metres.

“The exact timing and level of any opening is influenced by the prevailing weather conditions and tides,” added Mrs Tucker.

In planning an opening, Council must consider the best conditions to maximise the health and productivity of the estuary and ensure there are high lake levels to maximise scour of the entrance. The Lake was last manually opened in July 2020.

You can keep an eye on Smiths Lake water levels with real time data on the NSW Government website at:

“We’re encouraging residents and visitors to monitor Lake levels and our website for notice of the Lake opening and make plans to remove your vessels from the Lake so they are not stranded when it is opened.”

For more information, view the video about how Smiths Lake is managed and the Smiths Lake Coastal Zone Management Plan on our website at: