Willinga Lake

Our water quality monitoring program has shown Willinga Lake to have fair water quality. Find out more about the estuary and its unique features.

Willinga Lake is small coastal lagoon with an intermittently closed entrance. It is located on the south coast on New South Wales and enters the ocean just north of the boundary of Batemans Marine Park.

Estuary health and features

Water quality

As part of our water quality monitoring program we assess the water quality and ecosystem health of an estuary using a range of relevant indicators. We sample a subset of the estuaries between Wollongong and the Victorian border every 3 years. The most recent sampling in Willinga Lake was completed over the 2014–15 summer when 2 sites were sampled on a monthly basis.

Willinga Lake water quality report card for algae and water clarity showing colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green, which represent very poor, poor, fair, good and excellent, respectively). Algae is rated 'fair' and water clarity is rated 'fair' giving an overall rating of 'fair' or 'C'.

This report card represents 2 water quality indicators that we routinely measure: the amount of algae present and water clarity. Low levels of these 2 indicators equate with good water quality.

The report card shows the condition of the estuary was fair with:

  • algae abundance graded fair (C)
  • water clarity graded fair (C)
  • overall estuary health graded fair (C).

Find out more about our estuary report cards and what each grade means. Read our sampling, data analysis and reporting protocols and find out how we calculate these grades.

We have monitored water quality in Willinga Lake since 2011. This table shows the water quality grades for this estuary over that time.

Willinga Lake historic water quality grades from 2011-12 for algae and water clarity. Colour-coded ratings (red, orange, yellow, light green and dark green represent very poor (E), poor (D), fair (C), good (B) and excellent (A), respectively).

Grades for algae, water clarity and overall are represented as:

  • A – excellent
  • B – good
  • C – fair
  • D – poor
  • E – very poor.

Physical characteristics

Estuary type: Back-dune lagoon

Latitude (ºS) –35.5
Longitude (ºE) 150.39
Catchment area (km2) 13.6
Estuary area (km2) 0.3
Estuary volume (ML) 94.6
Average depth (m) 0.3
Notes: km2 = square kilometres; m = metres; ML = megalitres.

Water depth and survey data

Bathymetric and coastal topography data for this estuary are available in our data portal.

Land use

The catchment of Willinga Lake is moderately disturbed with 20% cleared for grazing and urban land use at Bawley Point. Over 70% of the catchment is forest, some of which lies in Meroo National Park and Murramarang National Park.

National and marine parks

Citizen science

  • The Budawang Coast Nature Map is an online data platform the community can use to record and identify biodiversity. Data collected is used to map the distribution of native plant and animal species from Moruya up almost to Kiama.
  • The South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program provides the opportunity for people to get involved in the protection and recovery of shore birds.

Community involvement

Willinga Lake

Local government management

Local councils manage estuaries within their area unless the estuary is attached to a marine park.

Shoalhaven City Council manage this estuary.