Lake Lenthall (Lenthalls Dam) – Back on-line
We have had our share of challenges over the last few years at Lake Lenthalls , which is the main water supply for Hervey Bay in Queensland and was once regarded as one of the state’s premier bass & barramundi fisheries. First was the access while they raised the dam wall height and management issues during this period in 2006/7. Then we had a freezing cold snap in the winter of 2007 – our 1st winter in Queensland after leaving Cooma in NSW to escape the cold! This unfortunately saw the loss of an enormous amount of the barramundi stocked up to that time.
Then dam filled to its new height with-in a month of the works being completed and spilled for the first time in January 2008! This saw more of the remaining barramundi escape downstream to the Burrum River. The area then experienced another flood in May/June 2008 which saw thousands of Australian bass escape downstream during what is their normal spawning time. These fish eventually made their way into the tidal section of the Burrum River & consequently died when they could not travel back up stream due to there not being an adequate fish ways on the weirs between the dam & river. Thankfully this looks to be rectified later this year with a new fish way being finalized at the time of writing.
The Fraser Coast Fish Stocking Association Inc (FCFSA) was not been able to source any barramundi fingerlings for nearly three years during this period which created a significant gap in year classes being stocked. Kurt Hutchby at the Gladstone Area Water Board has since come on board and consistently supplied the FCFSA with Australian barramundi fingerlings since. The recent passing of Bill Proctor has been a shock to all who knew him & he will be sadly missed by many as he consistently supplied the FCFSA with Australian Bass fingerlings from his Bundaberg hatchery.
Lake Lenthall looks amazing now since stabilizing at its new 100% level with great re-growth becoming established and plenty of lilies around the new margins. The fishing this summer has finally come back on-line with good catches of both Australian Bass & Barramundi filtering through the grape vine since November 2011. Lenthalls now looks set to regain its former reputation as one of the best top water bass & barramundi fisheries in the state !
A bit of history
Built in 1984, Lenthalls Dam was named after the pioneering family in the district; the waters created by the dam are called Lake Lenthall. With a catchment area of over 935 square kilometres it is fed by six main creeks which from the most southerly point are Logbridge Creek, Doongul Creek, Harwood Creek, Sugarbag Creek, Duckinwilla Creek & Woolmer Creek.
The catchment area starts in the Sea view Ranges which are directly west of the dam and can be seen from the viewing area near the dam wall. Mt Doongul & Mt Ganamon are the two most prominent features of the horizon from this point. The Lake is approximately 7 kilometres long with a two lane concrete boat ramp situated centrally.
The Lake forms the head waters of the Burrum River system which also includes the Isis, Cherwell & Gregory Rivers. Lenthalls has a relatively small surface area of around 400ha, an average depth of 3.9 meters and holds some 28000 ML of water at full supply level. Owned and managed by Wide Bay Water Corporation its purpose is for the supply of water to the city of Hervey Bay and surrounding townships.
To help ensure the Fraser Coast has a secure water supply to support its growing population; Wide Bay Water raised the height of the dam wall in 2007. This increased the lake’s capacity by nearly 10,000 million litres. Its previous capacity was 17,800 mega litres. It can now hold up to 29,500 mega litres. Wide Bay Water used Crest Gates to increase the height of the dam. This approach won a High Commendation award from Engineers Australia in 2008. This award recognised the project’s innovation and benefit to the community.
Australian bass, barramundi, silver perch, golden perch & snub nosed gar have all been stocked in Lake Lenthalls since the formation of the FCFSA in 1968. There are also spangled perch and eels present along with numerous reports of Saratoga although there are no records of these ever being stocked.
The total number of fish stocked to date by the Fraser Coast Fish Stocking Association Inc (1968 – Dec 2011) : -
Snub nosed gar 50
Golden Perch 285,900
Silver Perch 181,250
Australian bass 719,714
A stocked Impoundment Permit (SIP) is required to fish at Lake Lenthall and this is the main source of funding for the FCFSA – so please ensure you select Lenthalls Dam as your preference when purchasing your permit.
- Permanent on-site ranger
- Covered picnic tables
- Camping Sites
- Viewing platform above the spillway
- Walking tracks
- Boat ramp
- Fishing/viewing Platform
- Easy parking
- Disabled access
There are no public phones at Lake Lenthall. Nearest fuel, bait and tackle are at service stations along the Bruce Highway.
Powerboats are allowed on Lake Lenthall but speeds and horsepower are restricted. Visitors should be aware of the low emission outboard engine policy for Lake Lenthall which allows ONLY 2 and 3 star rated engines up to 60hp. Low emission engines include:
- All 4-stroke engines up to 60 horsepower
- Low emission direct injection 2-stroke engines up to 60 horsepower
- The speed limit on the lake is strictly 6 knots
Camping is now permitted at Lake Lenthall. Short stay camping up to three (3) days/two (2) nights is permitted. The maximum number of campers at any one time is eighteen (18) plus up to six (6) self contained camper vehicles that have waste storage facilities.
The number of campers is limited to the capacity of the on-site sewage treatment facilities to protect the main drinking water source of Hervey Bay. Places are limited so pre-booking of sites is required. To book site visitors can contact the Lake Lenthall Ranger Office on (07) 4129 4833.
If you traveling North on the Bass to Barra Trail – you really should add beautiful Lake Lenthalls to your itinerary with more details available @ http://fcfsa.sweetwaterfishing.com.au
Tags: - Posted By: Scott Mitchell There are one response on this story.