Barwon Dam is located about 30km inland from Skene's Creek near
the Otway township of Forrest. The waterway is surrounded by
both eucalypt and pine forest and is very picturesque.
West Barwon Dam is the result of the damming of the west branch
of the Barwon River and is very deep at the wall. The wall recreation
area has picnic tables, barbeque and toilets as well as lake
viewing walks along the wall itself.
Fishing is allowed from the wall, but there is no boating, wading
or swimming in the lake itself.
Access to the rest of the lake is difficult due to the steep
terrain and thick bush around its margins.
The lake has good population of wild trout that spawn in the
upper Barwon, as well as fish stocked by fisheries.
There are both brown (wild and stocked) to 2.7kg (av. 800g)
and rainbow trout to 1.5kg (av. 800g - stocked by fisheries)
in this waterway.
The lake also has a small but targetable population of redfin
to 1.3kg (av. 600g), blackfish (recorded to 4kg, av. 500g) and
- of course - plenty of eels.
The water can be crystal clear except after periods of high
rainfall where runoff can turn the water to a coffee colour.
When it is this discoloured, it is best to switch to bait.
Best bait for West Barwon Dam is live minnow fished either on
a float or on the bottom followed closely by live mudeye fished
under a bubble float.
Since the lake has a good population of forage fish the local
trout respond well to all forms of lure fishing. Try bright
colours on a bright day and natural colours on a dull day.
the water is low, there is room for fly-fishing around the lake's
perimeter otherwise the bush extends right to the water and
can make the back cast difficult everywhere except the wall.
There can be some exciting smelting that occurs mainly on the
points in spring time so take some smelt patterns such as green
and black matuka or Mrs. Simpson.
There are also ant and beetle falls early in the season, but
these are few and far between.
The lake has risen dramatically over the past few weeks due
to the high rainfall. This can really turn the trout on as water
quickly floods new ground and the fish hunt about for drowned
Best bait during these conditions is unweighted scrub worm fished
on the bottom. Best places to target these fish during these
conditions is areas where there is high run off - for example;
a small gully where two steep banks intersect.
Barwon Dam Map