It’s amazing to see the changes that have taken place in the last six months, on the the Bot River Estuary.
Everywhere the banks of the estuary are taking on a more beach-like appearance. On clean white sand, sea shells, sea weed, red-bait and cuttlefish are in evidence.
The water tastes salty and it’s not unusual to see large shoals of tiny fish being preyed upon by diving sea birds, kestrels and duikers.
In the middle of August 2012, the mouth of the Bot River Estuary was artificially breached. This was done after consulting with the Bot River Estuary Forum (BREF), and estuarine specialists (9 Images, click here for Flickr slideshow).
The water level of the Bot River Estuary was at its highest in many years, approximately 3 meters above mean sea level. Consequently, when the mouth was opened, the fast flow facilitated a deep scouring of the bed at the mouth.
When the mouth is opened, the water levels drop dramatically — to about 20 centimetres above sea level within a matter of hours. Over time the Bot River Estuary gradually becomes more saline as the tidal surge periodically brings fresh sea water into the system.
The estuary mouth has now remained open for an extended period; at this point 7 months and counting. With each passing month, the beauty of a true estuarine system is gradually unfolding.