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Lake Somerset ( Somerset Dam ) - Kilcoy. Qld

LAKE Somerset ( Somerset Dam ) would have to be one of Australia's most popular freshwater fishing & camping destinations. In a recent survey it was found that Somerset is in the top 5 fished locations in Qld.

Technical Information
When full, Somerset Dam holds some 380 000 megalitres of water plus a further 524 000 megalitres for flood mitigation from a catchment area of 1330 square kilometers.
The surface area of water covers 4210 hectares and reaches 55 km upstream. The wall has 203 000 cubic meters of concrete is 53 meters high, 305 meters long and 41 meters thick at its base.
Water is released into Lake Wivenhoe as required, which in turn is released into the Brisbane River.
The hydroelectric power station is a relatively small plant of 4 kW and was refurbished in 1989.

Fishing Lake Somerset
Lake Somereset is the one of the most popular and probably the most heavily fished lake in Qld. However Lake Somerset is still probably the best producing and most consistent big bass and Golden Perch lake with reasonable access in Qld, possibly only a second place to Lake Wivenhoe as the big bass capital of Qld.
Lake Somerset has everything a good lake fishery needs. It has deep water, rocky points, large flats areas, standing timber in the top half of the lake.
Local fish stocking group, SWSFA, DPI Fisheries & the SEQWCorp have released over 3 million Australian Bass, Yellowbelly, Silver Perch, Mary River Cod, Saratoga & Snub Nosed Gar into Lake Somerset. There are also breeding populations of naturally occuring Tandans (Eel-tailed Catfish) & the introduced Spangled Perch, Banded Grunter, Qld Lungfish & Tilapia. (All Tilapia must be destroyed if caught. They are declared a Noxious Fish).

Techniques
The average family fisho can go to Somerset Dam for the first time and be a good chance of catching fish.
Trolling deep diving lures around the edges of the submerged Stanley River will produce Golden Perch and Bass most days, some exceptional fish are produced in this way.
Fishing soft plastics across the submerged flats in the front half of the dam is a popular way to catch bass, especially if they are holding close to the bottom or are in a finicky mood.
Alternatively, casting hard bodied lures and spinnerbaits around points and banks with stumps or rocks in the main basin can produce big Golden Perch and the odd bass. This same technique is well endorsed in the timbers in the top of the lake by gun anglers in springtime for BIG bass, golden perch and even the odd Mary River Cod and ever increasingly, saratoga (some of which are over a meter in length)
While up in the standing timber north of Kirkleagh, a well placed worm on a hook close to the bottom is a great way to catch Eel Tailed Catfsih, tilapia and silver perch. The same bait on a small hook under a float will produce Snub Nose Gar. At times of inflow, silver perch can and will run right up into some of the feeder creeks on Lake Somerset in an attempt to spawn. Great fishing can be had at these times. Feeder creeks & tributaries of Lake Somerset include:
Stanley River, Neurum Creek, Sandy Creek, Kilcoy Creek, Mary Smokes Creek and Sheepstation Creek.

Expected maximum sizes:
Bass to and over 55cm & over 3kg recorded
Golden Perch to 70cm & over 6kg recorded
Silver Perch to 60cm and over 6kg recorded
Mary River Cod to 100cm and around 20 kg
Saratoga to 100cm and approx 5kg
Eel Tailed Catfish to 100cm

Redclaw crayfish to 30cm
Tilapia to 45cm and 2kg
Spangled Perch to 30cm and upto 1kg

Boating
All forms of boating are allowed but a SEQWCorp permit is required for all trailerable vessels.
There are 6 lanes of concrete launching ramp at Kirkleagh + a well maintained gravel ramp that is used at low water levels. There is a double laned ramp at The Spit (near the dam wall) + another single lane concrete ramp that becomes uncovered when water levels drop below approximately 75%.
No boating is permitted on Lake Somerset at night.

Lake Somerset Accomodation and Camping
Camping is available at Kirkleagh Recreation area and at Somerset Park below the Somerset Dam wall. Fees apply at both locations. See brochure for more details on Somerset Park.
For further enquiries on boating & camping fees call the SEQWCorp on 07 5427 8100.

There are various other accomodation services; motel, hotel, B&B & farmstays around Lake Somerset and locally in Kilcoy and Esk. See the Accommodation page for details.

Access
Access to the reacreational areas and boat ramps is during daylight hours only.
The gates are locked at night with The Spit open from dawn until dusk and Kirkleagh Recreation Area normally openned at 7.00am.

Facilities
There are great facilities provided at Lake Somerset including gas hot water showers (fees apply), electric Bar B Qs, picnic shelters, drinking water & lots of room!

Related Links
Somerset & Wivenhoe Fish Stocking Assn website
Water Level Link - SEQWater
Somerset Water Level Link - BOM
Purchase Stocked Impoundment Permit on-line - QDPI&F
Soth East Qld Weather Radar - BOM

Heavy Metal Bass Fishing Article by Garry Fitzgerald
For further info on Lake Somerset click HERE
For a poem about Lake Somerset click HERE
Lake Wivenhoe Information Page

Related Videos

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Somerset Dam wall Front of Lake Somerset Facilities at Somerset Dam
Middle of Lake Somerset Lake Somerset Satelite image Garry Fitzgerald with a Thumping Somerset Bass

Click on a picture to view a larger version

Lake Somerset Water Level Guage / Graph


Lake Somerset Fishing Map

Lake Somerset Map. Copyright © www.sweetwaterfishing.com.au
Click HERE for printable map version

 


Video of Woodford Weir on Stanley River upstream of Lake Somerset

Somerset Dam Flood Water Release

Click for Brisbane, Queensland Forecast

Somerset Dam Map


View Somerset Dam & Stanley River in a larger map

The Lake House. Kirkleagh Holiday Park. Lake Somerset Holiday Park. Lake Somerset Tourist Park. Neurum Creek Bush Retreat. http://www.lakesomerset.com.au

Copyright© 2000 Garry Fitzgerald. Last update - March 2011. Sweetwater Fishing Australia
Somerset Dam Wall