A MOTHER dolphin and her baby trapped in the Patawalonga could remain in the area for some time, experts say.

In a dramatic rescue, the pair was reunited on Sunday night after being separated on different sides of the weir.

Residents of Holdfast Shores apartments had seen the mother swim into the Patawalonga lake before 7pm, leaving two young dolphins on the weir’s seaward side.

Water police worked with conservation officers to coax the distressed younger dolphin, aged about three months, to join its mother. The older calf swam safely back out to sea.

They spent Sunday night in the river and were due to be ushered back out to sea this morning. But the mother refused to leave her new marina home.

Brett Pendlebury, a conservation office for the Department of Environment and Heritage said the dolphins would be able to live in the marina for some time.

“The main goal was to get the mother and her young calf together which we achieved successfully,” he said.

“Dolphins go into the area all the time and it is a safe place for them to be.

“There is a good food supply, a healthy salt level and sufficient shelter.”

Mr Pendlebury said the mother would lead the calf out of the area when the weir opens again some time in the next few days.

The Department for Environment and Heritage will continue to monitor the situation.