Council has begun beach scraping at the mouth of Belongil Creek to encourage a natural flow of the waterway into the sea and reduce the likelihood of flooding from rain that is forecast this week.
Belongil Creek is one of three coastal lagoons in the Byron Shire, known as Intermittently Closed and Open Lakes and Lagoons (or ICOLLs), along with Tallow Creek and Taylors Lake.
“We’ve been monitoring Belongil Creek and Tallow Creek intensely in recent months due to the drought conditions and the factors that we know increase the potential of a fish kill occurring,” Byron Shire Council’s Infrastructure Planning Coordinator James Flockton said.
“Unfortunately many fish kills have been occurring in surrounding Shires and catchments, and all over Australia in fact.
“With the rain expected this week, we have an opportunity to scrape the sand berm at the Belongil Creek mouth just enough to allow for the natural opening of the lagoon to the sea if sufficient rain falls, providing the fish and marine ecosystems with the best chance of survival.
“Despite water levels at Belongil Creek being above our trigger for some weeks, we have avoided any opening due to the risk of fish kill which has been heightened due to the dry weather.
“We expect Tallow Creek to naturally open itself if sufficient rainfall occurs because the sand berm is currently just above our trigger level.
“We will be closely monitoring this situation now and with rain on our side our hope is that any impacts on fish and marine life will be minimalised for all of our ICOLLs,” he said.