Lake LyellLocated just 10 minutes drive from Lithgow,
Water quality and low lake levels can be issues faced by lakes users from time to time. Delta electricity pumps water out of
Rainbow and brown trout are both common with trolling the most popular and successful method of fishing. Bait fishing, spinning and fly fishing also produce good fish. This lake holds some extremely large trout. Brown trout of more than 6kgs have been taken.
Photo: Lake Lyell © Tim Williams 2009
Lithgow council charges a usage fees to access the boat ramp and some other sections of the lake. Fees should be paid to the caretaker at the camping ground near the dam wall. The cost for a car with boat is $4 per day at the time this was published.
Location: Less than 10 minutes drive from the
History & Purpose: Built on the Cox’s River in 1982 at a capacity of 27,000Ml to supply water for power generation. In 1995 the dam’s capacity was increased to 34,500Ml. Trout were present in the lake from the time of constriction and have been regularly stocked since. Australian Bass have also been stocked. The dam was built over farming and bush land. When filled the lake
River System: Cox’s River (Part of the Nepean Catchement) Additional flows are provided from the Fish River Scheme via pipeline from Oberon.
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Australian Bass, Macquarie Perch & Goldfish
Fish Stocking Details: The number of fish stocked varies from year to year. An average season would see 40,000 trout released into
Capacity: 34,500 Ml
Surface Area: 238ha
Max Water Depth: 38m
Shore Access: The best access points for the main body of the lake are via
To access the lake you are required to pay a small fee to the caretaker at the camping ground. Check the signs in the area you intend to visit for details. At the time of publication the access fee was $4 for a car with a boat trailer. Contact the camping ground for more info.
Phone: 02 6355 6347.
Boat Access: The best boat access is at the camping ground. The bank is soft in most other places and becomes very muddy after rain and when the lake level has dropped.
Restrictions: Boating is not permitted in the vicinity of the dam wall. The council managed land around the lake is patrolled by rangers from Lithgow council. They will check to see if you have paid the appropriate access fee. General trout dam regulations apply.
Water Quality: Algal blooms are a common problem. Blue Green algae outbreaks are caused by warm water temperatures and high nutrient run off from local farms. These outbreaks sometimes close the lake to swimming and boating. Contact the camping ground or Lithgow Council for information on closures or restrictions.
Popular Fishing Methods & Locations:
Bait: Power Bait, yabbies, mudeye and scrub worms are the most commonly used baits in
Boat: Trolling is the most popular method of fishing Lake Lyell. Spooned lures (e.g. Tassie Devil, Alpine Cobra, or Wonder Spoon's), diving minnows and large hard body lures are best. Flat line trolling works most of the year, but having a down rigger and sounder can greatly increase your chances of finding fish, particularly in warm weather. These tools allow the fisherman to work out where the fish are holding and get the lure in striking distance. Quite often getting the bomb of the down rigger at 5 metres will turn a slow day into a day of action on
Fly: Wet flies tend to out fish the dries during the day and on cold winter nights (if you can stand the freezing conditions and frozen rod tippet). At night use large dark colour streamers and during the day use lighter/brighter colour streamers or nymphs that will catch the eye of the fish. Pink, red and yellow colours work well, particularly in winter.
As the weather warms up insect hatches occur and offer the best dry fly fishing conditions. Late summer into autumn is dry fly time. Look for fish rising around the edges. Match the hatch and you stand a chance of getting a fish. Grass hoppers and white moths work well when the real things are about.
In summer look for fish smashing midges on sunset. The fish will often sit really close to the edge under green slime all day, when the midgies start to rise on dusk the start to smash the surface in big numbers. When grass hoppers are in big numbers try catching a bucket full and using them as burley. You can use a live hopper on your fly line to catch a fish if your flies are not doing the trick.
Spinning: You can spin most areas of the lake. Yellow and pink spoons are the most popular lures. Yellow winged Tassies seem to catch the most fish particularly when retrieved slowly. Celter’s, minnows, stump jumpers, spinner baits and small soft plastics also catch fish in this lake. In winter large trout patterned minnows will fire up a territorial brown trout.
As with fly fishing adjust the colour of your lure depending on the light conditions. The best place for land based fishing in the area opposite the boat ramp where there are some rocky drop offs next to shallower weed beds and near the Farmers Creek Arm.
Public Toilet: Yes at the camping ground provided you have paid the access fees
For more info contact Lake Lyell Camp Ground:
Ph: 02 6355 6347