Time and tide will align this afternoon, allowing Sunshine Coast Council to close Currimundi Lake and halt a midge explosion in its tracks.
A 1.6m high tide at 4.10pm will increase the lake’s water level. Excavators and dozers will start pushing about 8,000 cubic metres of sand into place at about 5pm, blocking the entrance to stop the lake filling further.
Two weeks ago (August 20), council closed off the entrance to keep the lake constantly full and drown the larvae, knowing it was the optimum time between breeding and hatching.
However the development of an east coast low and heavier than predicted rainfall the following weekend meant the council had to reopen the lake’s entrance.
Divisional councillor Peter Cox said this second attempt was the last opportunity to combat the midges during the larvae stage.
“Our monitoring predicts a significant hatch of adult biting midge in spring, something that we haven’t seen for more than a few years and as residents haven’t experienced good numbers of adult midge for a while, their level of tolerance will be very low,” Cr Cox said.
“All going to plan, council will keep the water at the lake at its high tide level for six weeks to interrupt the midge larval hatching cycle, drown larvae and reduce midge numbers by about 95%.
“Beach-goers may see the use of darker sand which contains increased silt and marine deposits naturally found in this intertidal zone, but we reassure the community that the visual effects of this will be short lived.
“Council will also monitor the lake’s water quality to ensure safe swimming conditions for all users.”
Cr Cox said council had been monitoring midges at Currimundi Lake since 2008 and officers had noticed a higher than usual increase and a wider distribution of midge larvae across the lake.
“We are committed to protecting our enviable lifestyle and maintaining safe and healthy communities, and this investment in closing the lake will help us achieve that goal.”