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Wilson Inlet. 1 October 2015.

By Jody

The opening of the Wilson Inlet channel created a buzz throughout the town of Denmark, many locals glad of the opening for fresh salt water to flush the Inlet and to replenish the juvenile fish stocks.

Wilson Inlet, Western Australia is one of the larger inlets in the southern hemisphere. It is fed by tributary rivers, the Hay River and the Denmark River. Usually each year the sandbar between Wilson Inlet and the Southern Ocean is opened on the 1st of September, the first day of spring. The Inlet had not been opened for 2 years until the 1st of September 2015.

Wilson Inlet is part of a wetlands system which provides feeding grounds for many birds. During summer hundreds of Black Swans can be seen feeding and roosting. Wilson Inlet is a key nursery for many juvenile fish, including Pink Snapper.

Many people surf at Ocean Beach which is very close by and the inlet provides opportunities for many recreational activities, including walking trails, boating, swimming and fishing.

Early on the day of the inlet opening we heard from one young local, the dolphins were waiting for a feed of fish.

The process of opening starts with a trench being dug. Then as the water starts to pour out from the Inlet, the opening widens reasonably quickly. I was astounded at the volume of water pouring out in the Southern Ocean. We went for a look around 5pm on the 1st of September and again around 10am on the 2nd of September.

These photos were taken about two weeks later; we had heard the water had turned blue. The difference was amazing.

Jeff took this stunning photo of the pelicans sitting right on the edge with the water flowing very strong and fast behind them.

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Updated 14 June 2020


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