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.
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
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.
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.
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,
River Cod, Saratoga
Nosed Gar into Lake Somerset. There are also breeding
populations of naturally occuring Tandans
(Eel-tailed Catfish) & the introduced Spangled
Lungfish & Tilapia.
(All Tilapia must be destroyed if caught. They are declared
a Noxious Fish).
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
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
Stanley River, Neurum Creek, Sandy Creek, Kilcoy Creek,
Mary Smokes Creek and Sheepstation Creek.
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
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.
Somerset Accomodation and Camping
is available at Kirkleagh Recreation area and at Somerset
Park below the Somerset Dam wall. Fees apply at both locations.
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 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
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!