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Smiths Lake (New South Wales) facts for kids

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Smiths Lake
Smith Lake
Location of the lagoon in New South Wales, Australia.
Location of the lagoon in New South Wales, Australia.
Smiths Lake
Location in New South Wales
Location of the lagoon in New South Wales, Australia.
Location of the lagoon in New South Wales, Australia.
Smiths Lake
Location in Australia
Location Mid North Coast, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 32°23′S 152°30′E / 32.383°S 152.500°E / -32.383; 152.500
Type Intermittently closed youthful saline coastal lagoon
Primary inflows Wamwarra Creek, Tarbuck Creek
Primary outflows Intermittently open sandbar to the Tasman Sea
Catchment area 28 square kilometres (11 sq mi)
Basin countries Australia
Managing agency Mid-Coast Council
Surface area 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi)
Average depth 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in)
Water volume 23,552.5 megalitres (831.75×10^6 cu ft)
Surface elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Islands Big Island, Little Island, Bull Island
Settlements Green Point, Pacific Palms, Smiths Lake

Smiths Lake, an intermittently closed youthful saline coastal lagoon, is located within the Mid-Coast Council local government area in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, Australia. Smiths Lake is located adjacent to the village of Smiths Lake, and adjacent to the east coast, about 274 kilometres (170 mi) north of Sydney.

Features and location

Drawing its catchment from within Wallingat National Park, Wallingat State Forest and the Wamwarra and Tarbuck creeks, Smiths Lake has a relatively small catchment area of 28 square kilometres (11 sq mi) and a surface area of 10 square kilometres (3.9 sq mi).

Part of the lake shore is a sandbar that separates the lake from the Tasman Sea. When the Mid-Coast Council deems that the lake water level is too high and may cause flooding to low-lying areas around the lake, a trench is constructed from the lake to the ocean using a bulldozer. This releases water from the lake into the ocean and considerably lowers the lake water level.

Due to the nature of Smiths Lake being a coastal dune lake, or coastal lagoon, it was featured in an American documentary about conservation done by producer Elam Stoltzfus.

The most northern of the Ramsar-protected Myall Lakes are located close to the south of Smiths Lake. However, Smiths Lake does not connect nor is formally part of the Myall Lakes. The southern part of Smiths Lake also forms the northern boundary of the Myall Lakes National Park.

Within Smiths Lake there are three islands; Big Island, Little Island, and Bull Island.

Smiths Lake supported a small but viable commercial fishing industry up until April 2007, when the lake was incorporated into the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park. Because of this, the western third of Smiths Lake is classed as a Sanctuary Zone and the northeastern area, known as Symes Bay, is classed as Habitat Protection Zone, which means commercial fishing in more than two thirds of the lake is no longer permitted.

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