A LAKE Cathie worker believes the council has waited too long to open the lake to the sea.
The recent rain pushed the water level to just above the 1.6m-mark after the height had hovered at about 1.58m for a few weeks.
The lake opening threshold is 1.6m.
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council proposes to artificially open the lake to the sea on Wednesday. Lake Cathie worker Amy Poole said the lake should be opened now as the water had spilled over the land.
The water level had been sitting at about 1.58m for a few weeks, she said.
Miss Poole said the high water level meant there was no sand for children to play in.
"Locals aren't swimming because of the state of the water and the high water levels," she said.
Miss Poole said seaweed was growing over grass, while the footpath, which was covered with water, would need to be cleaned.
"This is ruining local businesses and young kids are bored," she said. Miss Poole said you could only imagine how bad it would smell when they finally opened the lake up to the ocean.
She has called for Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to review its lake opening strategy.
Council's waste and environmental engineer Gordon Cameron said the lake finally reached a level of 1.6m AHD (Australian Height Datum), and while there was no significant rainfall expected for the next week, the lake had hovered just below the prescribed level for some time.
"As part of council's opening strategy for Lake Cathie, the lake will be opened next Wednesday, which will align with high tides required to complete the project during work hours," Mr Cameron said.
Lake Cathie opening strategy aims to provide maximum benefits to the community while minimising siltation, ensuring high water quality and minimising environmental impact. The Hastings LGA Coast and Estuaries Sub-committee monitors the strategy. The lake's water level reached 1.62m on Wednesday and was recorded at 1.61m yesterday.