In most years, the Wilson Inlet bar is opened, primarily to mitigate against flooding adjacent low-lying land. The timing and location of the opening is managed by the Water Corporation as per an agreed protocol.

2018 Bar opening

12:00pm Thursday 23 August 2018

In 2018, the bar was opened by dredging a channel to the ocean with two openings into the Inlet. Storm events in July 2018 caused large amounts of sand to be dumped onto the sand bar making it unusually large compared to recent years.

The inlet water level at the time of opening was 1.07 m AHD and the channel was cut approximately 100 m from the Western cliffs reference point. Approximately 13.5 GL of water was discharged to the ocean in the first 24 hours post-opening.

The outgoing flow scoured the bar to a width of approximately 100 m by Friday 24 August.

The Inlet height, the opening, impact on the bar and ocean discharge was captured with a drone by Ash Ramsay (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, South West region).

2017 Bar opening

12:30pm Thursday 24th August 2017

In 2017, the bar was opened by dredging a channel to the ocean at an Inlet water level of 1.27 m AHD and 100 metres from the Western cliffs reference point.

This was the highest bar opening since 1978 which had an estimated elevation of 1.25 m AHD at the time of opening.

Approximately 27 GL of water (~14 per cent of the Inlet volume) was discharged to the ocean in the first 24 hours post-opening. The volumetric flow rate was recorded as 210 m³/s on the Friday at 2 pm. The high water level and strong flow effectively scoured the bar to a width of approximately 150 metres.

The Inlet height, the opening, impact on the bar and ocean discharge was captured with a drone by Ash Ramsay (Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, South West region).