The Department of Parks and Wildlife has issued a cautionary notice on the low water levels at Stockton Lake and potential issues pertaining to those levels:
- Water Flow: The amount of water flowing into the lake is now much less than previous years
- Cliff hazards: The lower water level will expose the submerged cliffs of the old coal pit and instead of gently sloping beaches there will be sudden drop offs into deep water.
All these submerged cliffs can be unstable and could break off and collapse into the lake when walked on.
- Boat Launching – The boat ramps are steeper than usual and as the water becomes lower, launching will become more difficult. Boat trailers could become trapped on the ramp. The Stockton Lake Boat Ramp (eastern side of the lake) is CLOSED due to a recent bank collapse adjacent to the ramp. There are no other designated boat launching areas on site. The current water level is lower than normal where the drop-off edge of the mining void is now close to the current watermark on the bank.
Invisible, underwater hazards
- The cliffs that are still submerged are not always easy to see under the water. For this reason:
- Take care when entering the water – don’t dive or jump in.
- Be aware that the water may suddenly become deep – take care when wading into the lake.
- Be careful when boating as a collision with an unseen, submerged cliff is more likely.
- There may be other objects such as old tree roots that will be just below the new water level so care at all times.
Swimming is not recommended for long periods at Stockton lake because the mildly acidic water can irritate skin and eyes.
Low levels may make the water slightly more acidic so consider spending even less time in the water and consider wearing goggles – especially if you have sensitive skin.
Bacteria and other organisms. Less water can sometimes mean warmer water and warmer water can increase the amount of some harmful organisms. The water is currently monitored so take notice of all warning signs.