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Richmond River entrance surveys

Entrance surveys undertaken at the entrance to the Richmond River from 1996 onwards indicate that depths of 4 metres were maintained between 1996 and mid 2010 whereas depths decreased from mid 2010 to August 2011 with a shallowest recording of 2.6 metres at low tide. View the surveys from 2005 to 2014:

Boat owners whom regularly use the entrance to access the ocean have indicated that a stable navigation channel with a depth of at least 4 metres at low tide will allow sufficient clearance for most vessels during most conditions.

In 2012, coastal consultants engaged by the Crown land (the Department) completed a feasibility study into the dredging of the Ballina bar. At the time of the study, maintenance of a channel to the dimensions indicated by boat owners would require a regular dredging regime of 4 – 6 times per year. The frequency of dredging is due to the highly dynamic nature of sand movement in the vicinity of the river entrance under climatic conditions experienced during 2010 - 2012, leading to rapid infilling of the channel.

Regular surveys arranged by the Department of the river entrance during 2013 indicate a general deepening of the Ballina bar in comparison to August 2011 conditions.

December 2014 survey

The December 2014 survey indicates depths of at least 4.0 metres at low tide or greater are generally prevailing through the entrance on the northern side of the channel extending on a north easterly heading to sea. The same survey indicates some shoaling has occurred at the inner Ballina Bar (adjacent to the southern breakwater) which is likely to be a result of unfavourable oceanic conditions causing localised  accretion of sand.  The southern extent of the outer bar displays significant sand accretion and should be avoided by vessels.

For further information please contact us.