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Arthurs Lake

Region: Central · Category: Major

Regulations

Min size: 300 mm Bag limit: 12 Method: All methods (bait, lures and flies) Season: 4/8/2018 - 28/4/2019

Background

This is one of Tasmania's most popular trout fisheries. Damming the upper Lake River and flooding the area that originally contained two lakes, Blue Lake and Sand Lake, and the Morass Marsh made the modern day Arthurs Lake. The water in Arthurs Lake is used for hydro electricity generation with the water being pumped into Great Lake to feed the power station at Poatina. Brown trout are the only species of trout recorded at Arthurs Lake and this has been the case since the 1960's. Arthurs is known for its good catch rate of wild brown trout. There are three road accesses into Arthurs Lake and numerous shacks, with two formal camping areas. Boat ramps are available and the lake is popular with boat based fishers.

Getting There

Arthurs Lake can be reached via the B51, from either Poatina in the North or the A5 from the South.

Recreational Fish Management

Arthurs Lake is managed by the Inland Fisheries Service as a wild trout fishery. The brown trout population is maintained through natural recruitment. Spawning runs are monitored on an annual basis with the average size of trout generally between 400g and 1kg. The Angler Postal Survey that has been conducted each year for the last 20 years indicates the fishery is quite stable in terms of catch rate that averages 2 fish per angler per day.

Angling Notes

Arthurs Lake's brown trout population is totally self-sustaining with ample recruitment coming from the creeks that flow into the northern and western shores. The condition of the fish caught by anglers throughout the season is high. Each year fish in excess 4.5 kilos are taken and fish of up to 7 kilos have been caught. Experienced anglers catch significantly more than the average 2 fish per day and during hatches in summer some people attain their bag limit. Artificial lures, bait fishing and fly fishing are permitted and each is equally popular and practiced. Whilst having a boat can be an advantage and opens up more opportunities there are a number of good fishing spots accessible from the shore with roads (some 4wd) providing access to the majority of the lake's western and southern shoreline.
Set rod bait fishing is popular and productive with worms and wattle grubs being the recommended baits. Bait fishing using mudeyes has become popular in recent years and is best practiced near sunken timber and dead trees. Lure casting and trolling are especially worthwhile around the Morass where sunken timber and dead trees provide cover for fish to wait in ambush for passing prey. Early in the season it can be worthwhile trolling deeper lures, using leadcore line or down rigging methods. Trout are often caught using soft-plastics worked close to shore.
Fly-fishing at Arthurs covers the full spectrum of the sport from polaroiding cruisers to dun feeders, galaxiid feeders and loch style fishing from a boat. Cowpaddock Bay is amongst the most popular and productive spots for shore based fly fishers especially during the mayfly season (November to February).
Boat based fishers often move according to where the fish are and that will be dictated by what is on the menu for the trout at the time. Boating anglers should be aware that the lake is exposed to all wind directions and can get very rough. Hazardous conditions can occur at any time of the year with little warning.

Protect Waters

Recreational anglers have a responsibility to look after fisheries resources for the benefit of the environment and future generations. Do not bring live or dead fish, fish products, animals or aquatic plants into Tasmania. Do not bring any used fishing gear or any other freshwater recreational equipment that may be damp, wet or contain water into Tasmania. Check,Clean and dry your fishing equipment before entering Tasmania. Do not transfer any freshwater fish, frogs, tadpoles, invertebrates or plants between inland waters. Check your boat, trailer, waders and fishing gear for weed and other pests that should not be transferred before moving between waters. Do not use willow (which is a plant pest) as a rod support as it has the ability to propagate from a strike.

Native Fish Management

Two species of indigenous fish are endemic to Arthurs Lake and the nearby Woods Lake, the saddled galaxias (Galaxias tanycephalus) and Arthurs paragalaxias (Paragalaxias mesotes). Both species are threatened and listed as vulnerable and endangered under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995, and are therefore wholly protected. These species commonly grow up to 120 mm and 70 mm in length respectively.

Pest Fish Management

It is an offence to use fish or fish products for bait or to transfer fish between waters.

Recreational Use

There are four boat launching areas at Arthurs Lake: Jonah Bay, Pumphouse Bay, Arthurs Dam and the western end of Morass Bay at Yangeena. Public camping areas are located at Pumphouse Bay and Jonah Bay, fees apply.

Boating

Arthurs Lake is exposed to extreme changes in weather and can become very rough. Hazardous conditions can occur at any time of the year with little warning.During periods of low water Arthurs Lake may be extremely shallow with many submerged navigation hazards.
Observe the 5-knot speed limit north of the transmission lines across Cowpaddock Bay and the areas prohibited for naviagation within 30 metres of the Arthurs Lake Dam and the Pump House and within 50 metres of the Arthurs Lake Spillway.
Practice minimal impact boating by accelerating gently in shallow water to avoid the underwater wash from the propeller jet stirring up silt and mud. This sediment clouds the water, disturbs sensitive weed beds, smothers aquatic plants and degrades fish habitat.

Remember

Check your wash - if it's white it's all right, if it's brown slow down. Fishing from a boat within 100 metres of an angler fishing from the shore is prohibited unless the boat is securely moored. Do not park on or obstruct boat ramps.