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Lake Manchester - Ipswich / Mt Crosby. Qld

Lake Manchester is built on Cabbage Tree Creek not far above its confluence with the Brisbane River. Construction of the Lake Manchester Dam commenced in 1912 and was competed in 1916. It was originally called Cabbage Tree Creek Dam. It was renamed in December 1916 when the new dam was names after Mr E.J. Manchester, president of the Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

In 1913 a water reserve was proclaimed restricting access to the Lake Manchester Catchment Area. This prevented the grazing of animals and the felling of trees. This restriction was observed, except for a time in the1930s, when limited logging took place.

When Lake Manchester was constructed a sawmill was established to process the felled timber. A house was built for the Supervisor, Edwin Corlass, and this later became the caretaker’s home. A postal receiving office was established at the Cabbage Tree Reserve at the Lake Manchester Construction site between 1913 and 1916. In 1999 Lake Manchester became part of the Brisbane City Council area.

The Lake Manchester catchment is one of the last remaining pockets where the endangered plant Native Jute (Corchorus cunninghamii) can still be found.

There has never been any official stocking of fish into Lake Manchester. However there is a resident population of goldfish present. Small native fishes such as firetails gudgeons are present & long finned eels have no trouble negotiating the spillway to get into the lake. At times litterally millions of elvers can be picked up by hand at the swimming hole below the dam wall.
Queensland Lungfish are also reported to be present after being introduced to the Brisbane system in the late 1800s however due to limited access to the lake there have been no reports for some years.

In recent times there have been applications to open the lake so limited boating however these have been declined by the Brisbaner Forrest Park Authority.

Lake Manchester's feeder creeks come from relatively high altitudes and run cold year round. This is possibly one of the few locations in Qld where River Blackfish and trout could readily survive. The release of these fish here would be regarded as illegal nowadays.

Access to the lake is resticted to boating however anglers are free to access the full perimeter of the lake by foot, mountain bike or horse (horse riding by permit only).


Lake Manchester Map
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Lake Manchester Water Level Guage & Graph
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Lake Manchester Map

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Copyright© 2001 Garry Fitzgerald. Sweetwater Fishing Australia