A mother dolphin and her calf which were trapped in East Ballina’s Prospect Lake have been freed.

Members of the Ballina-based Australian Seabird Rescue, Southern Cross University’s Whale Research Centre, National Parks and Sea World Animal Release Team trapped the pair during a three-hour operation today.

The dolphins were trucked to the nearby Richmond River where they were released.

Although slightly worse the wear for the ordeal and showing signs of dehydration, the dolphins appeared in reasonably healthy condition.

The two, and another male dolphin, were sighted in the lake about two weeks ago.

The male, nicknamed Socrates by ASR staff, found his way out of the lake last week.

Rescuers today trapped the calf in a net. The mother then approached, and she also was caught in the net.

Today’s rescue followed a failed attempt last weekend.

Some locals say that ‘Socrates’ is an occasional visitor to the lake, attracted by the ‘Prospect’ of a good feed.

They believe he found his own way out but the other two, who had not been seen in the lake before, became disorientated and could not find their way out.

Meanwhile, discussions will be held with Ballina Shire Council to see if it is possible to erect some sort of a barrier which would prevent the situation arising again.

PICTURES: Today’s rescue attempt. Photos by Louise Claes.