A boating bonanza is expected on a healthy, full Lake Albert in the coming weeks.
A likely increase in the watersports community descending on the lake could be a huge benefit to some local businesses, especially those in the marine and recreational sport industries.
Riverina Ski Sports owner Pete Clucas, whose business had been "devastated" by lockdown restrictions and a lake in drought over the past few years, now has more confidence his business will recover.
"I drive by that full lake on the way to an empty showroom and it's the only thing keeping me sane," Mr Clucas said.
"To see that lake open and full and our dams full gives me some hope.
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"If I was looking at a dry lake like it's been for the past four years I don't know what I'd do, but it's filled up purely from that amount of rain we had in late July.
"We had about 80 millimetres of rain, the lake went up one metre from that rain event and the rest of the wet winter weather we had, filled it.
"The lake hasn't been full for four years so it gives me a glimmer of hope and there will be a surge of people wanting to get out in the sunshine."
Although Mr Clucas does not expect a stampede of people immediately, he believes the lake will be a popular place to enjoy a break from recent lockdown restrictions.
"I'm not expecting a flood of people but it will start to build up again with the warmer weather," Mr Clucas said.
"It's something to look forward to and bounce back out of lockdown.
"I'm expecting a strong summer with people just being excited as they're desperate to get out on the water and when the lake is full, it's such an asset to the city.
"On a busy Saturday it would not be unusual to have 50 or 60 boats a day on the lake so it's well utilised and it's good for everyone's mental health."
Riverina Marine Centre owner Steve McDonell also believes there will be a surge in boating activity on the lake.
"With the removal of the willow trees around the walking tracks, combined with the lake being full it's neater and more accessible," he said.
"It's a great area for families to get to.
"The advantage is locals are not having to travel over an hour away - they can just duck down after work and spend some time on the lake so that's a big advantage."
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