Lake King William

Region: Central · Category: Major
6.83 26/02/2024


Min size: 220 mm Bag limit: 20 Method: All methods (bait, lures and flies) Season: All Year


Hydro Tasmania created Lake King William in 1950 with the construction of the 70m high Clark Dam across the Derwent River. In the late 1960Â’s a further 6 metres was added to the dam wall, increasing the storage capacity of the lake. The lake is heavily drawn upon for electricity generation and undergoes large fluctuations in water level throughout the year. Brown trout were present in the system before completion of the dam but 100 000 yearling rainbow trout were introduced upon filling of the lake. Subsequent stockings of rainbow trout continued through the early 1950’s but despite these stockings it is brown trout that dominate anglers catches. The many creeks and rivers that flow into King William provide limitless spawning opportunities which has resulted in a large population of small trout in the lake.

Getting There

Lake King William at Butlers Gorge can be reached from Hobart on the A10 in approximately 2 hours.

Recreational Fish Management

Lake St Clair, St. Clair Lagoon and Lake King William are managed as Premium Wild Trout Fisheries. Angling regulations and seasons are specific for each water. Anglers should ensure that they are familiar with and observe these regulations which can be found in the Tasmanian Inland Recreational Fishing Code.

Angling Notes

Trolling is a reliable way to catch large bags of predominantly brown trout at Lake King William, with spinning and baitfishing also very productive at times. The best areas for fishing are in the northern end of the lake and the Guelph basin. Fly-fishing can also be very productive with dry fly activity, particularly on evening in the north west corner of the lake and the Guelph basin. The water is clear enough to polaroid, which can be productive on some of the steeper shores. Loch style fly fishing with two or three wet or dry flies is a successful method.

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

Climbing galaxias are likely to be present in Lake King William.

Pest Fish Management

Anglers can help reduce the spread of pests in Tasmanian waterways by not transferring fish between waters. Offences may incur significant penalties.

Recreational Use

Please remove all rubbish and do not litter. Anglers are encouraged to bring portable toilets or be sure to walk at lease 100 metres from the water, dig a 15-centimetre hole and bury water including the toilet paper.


Lake King William has a large boat ramp situated at the southern end of the lake at Butlers Gorge which is useable at most water levels. Launching areas at the northern end of the lake accessible from the Lyell Highway are not always useable due to the highly variable water level of the lake. The waters are bounded by Clark Dam, a sign on the western bank approximately 300 metres upstream of the dam and a sign on the eastern bank approximately 100 metres upstream of the dam. 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.


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.