A predicted weather system for this weekend has prompted MidCoast Council to consider opening Smiths Lake entrance today.

Smiths Lake was last opened for ocean outflow in June of 2018.

Council said boat owners remove vessels from the Lake to avoid stranding as lake levels drop, and advises people to stay away from the opening during the first 36 hours.

During the opening we will be restricting boat access to the lake and only authorised officers will have access to Sandbar Beach.

Public access to the Beach will be limited for safety reasons," said Council’s Water Quality and Estuary Management Coordinator, Prue Tucker.

Council has a policy to mechanically open the lake when it approaches 2.1 metres above sea level.

Smiths Lake levels this week at Tarbuck Bay. More at NSW Manly Haudraulics.

This action is outlined in the Coastal Zone Management Plan for Smiths Lake, the opening level takes into account environmental outcomes as well as to prevent minor flooding of property and roads.

We’ve consulted key stakeholders, including local fishers, in reaching the decision to open the Lake,” said Ms Tucker.

Smiths Lake water levels are in real time on the NSW Government website www.mhl.nsw.gov.au.

Exact timing of the opening depends on tides, swell conditions, predicted rainfall, and lake levels.

The Smiths Lake plan can be found on council’s website at: www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/riversandlakes, along with further information on the management of Smiths Lake and Council’s other coastal management programs.