Lake Cathie residents have noted positive changes both in the community and for wildlife since the waterway's opening to the ocean in May.
However, it's still too early to forecast what the long term impact will be for some inhabitants, including fish populations and the threatened species of Estuary Stingray.
Lake Cathie Fishing Club secretary Terry McDermott has been a resident of the area for over 20 years and has been an avid fisho all his life.
Prior to the opening and as a result of the drought and bushfires, the lake system and its inhabitants suffered. Fish deaths were reported and recreational activities didn't take place due to the water quality.
Mr McDermott said members of the club went elsewhere in the region if they wanted to snag a fish.
He said the situation wasn't only distressing for fishos but for the whole community, due to the impact on business and tourism.
Since the opening, the club now has hope the lake will once again thrive with fish, crabs and prawns but it's something which will take time.
Mr McDermott said the club has reached out to government organisations, including NSW Department of Primary Industries, to offer their assistance and help fish species and wild oyster beds recover.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the fishing club was forced to cease its competitions but Mr McDermott said they are due to start up again this week, following advice from the NSW Government.
The club has been operating for over 40 years and Mr McDermott said it recognises the importance of Lake Cathie's environment as being a community asset.
He said it's in the club's interest to promote sustainable fishing and for members to do what they can to assist in its recovery.
Saving Lake Cathie member Stewart Cooper said the lake's opening has had a positive impact for a number of species.
"Within days of the opening the birds started coming back, with a family of pelicans now camped almost permanently in the lagoon," he said.
"The cormorants are also coming back and flocks of terns can regularly be seen in the lagoon diving for fish.
"The ospreys and sea eagles are hunting in the area again."
Prior to the opening, a number of Lake Cathie residents voiced their concerns about the large numbers of mosquitoes at the location and the health risks associated with the issue.
However, Mr Cooper said since the opening, the mosquitoes no longer pose a large threat to residents.
Mr Cooper and his wife Patricia walk near the lake daily and often stop to talk to people on their way.
They said the lake's opening has had a positive impact on the whole community, as well as the ecology of the lake.
They noted it was positive to see a man teaching his grandson how to fish, people having picnics on the lake's foreshore and birthday parties taking place at the facilities.
Revive Lake Cathie member Kate Aston is involved in research at the lake, along with other members.
She said it's too early to say at this stage if whether the lake's opening has had a positive impact on some of its inhabitants, including the Estuary Stingray.
She said group members are continuing to engage with a number of stakeholders to carry out their research.
While she said it's positive the water is clearer at the mouth of the lake, the water quality near the Kenwood Drive bridge is perhaps not as good as it should be.