Brandvlei Dam

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Brandvlei Dam
Official name Brandvlei Dam
Country South Africa
Location Western Cape
Coordinates 33°42′45″S 19°24′57″E / 33.71250°S 19.41583°E / -33.71250; 19.41583Coordinates: 33°42′45″S 19°24′57″E / 33.71250°S 19.41583°E / -33.71250; 19.41583
Purpose Irrigation
Opening date 1983
Owner(s) Department of Water Affairs
Dam and spillways
Type of dam Earth fill dam
Impounds Lower Brandvlei River
Reservoir
Creates Brandvlei Dam Reservoir
Total capacity 303.800.000 m3

Brandvlei Dam is an earth-fill type dam on the Lower Brandvlei River in Western Cape, South Africa. It was completed in 1983 and the inlet is the Holsloot river.

The Brandvlei Dam, 15 km south of Worcester, is often referred to as the Greater Brandvlei Dam. When both it and the adjacent Kwaggaskloof Dams are full, the wall that divides them is submerged, making it one very large lake with a capacity of 458 million cubic metres. It is reputedly the best Smallmouth Bass fishing area in the country. Launching and camping facilities are available at both Brandvlei and Kwaggaskloof Dams and the Worcester Yacht Club is situated at the Brandvlei Dam.[1]

Kwaggaskloof (sometimes spelled Quaggaskloof) and Brandvlei Dam is considered by many to be one of the prime smalmouth bass waters in South Africa, some would argue that it is THE prime smallmouth lake. Regardless, the lake is certainly one that has some BIG smallmouth bass, until recently it was the holder of the South African record, a fish of 3.23 kg (7 lbs) caught on a crawdad coloured soft plastic worm in 4 metres (12 foot) of water in September 1998.

THE "WALL" When full, Kwaggaskloof is joined to neighbouring Brandvlei Dam creating one massive impoundment. When the water level drops the wall that divides the 2 is exposed, creating separate bodies of water. The "wall" as it is known is an excellent spot to catch big smallies, fish of 2.5 to 3 kg are regularly taken along its length.

STRUCTURE Structure is not immediately apparent on this lake but it is there, much of it is in the form of deeper ridges, channels, drop-ofs, points, old quarries and humps, a boat is a pretty much essential to fish Kwaggskloof properly and anglers need to be willing and able to read their electronics. Visble structure is there, it's just not that obvious, mainly along the South Western bank, this is also where largemouth bass are more likely to fall to a well placed spinnerbait or shallow running crankbait. Another choice piece of structure is an old road that runs into the lake in the most Southerly corner of the dam, partially exposed at low water, it's usually submerged and can easily be missed.

WATER SPORTS The water varies from quite murky after heavy rains to clear in the summer months. Boat traffic can be heavy, it's a popular venue for water skiers, inflatable boat races are sometimes held on the dam, this can cause havoc for bass anglers. It's worthwhile checking that no such event is taking place if a visit is planned.[2]

Towards the northwest you will find Brandvlei Prison, which contains a hot spring with temperatures up to 45°C, the hottest in South Africa. The Table Mountain Group hot water springs vary between 35°C and 45°C. The water at the nearby Goudini and the Brandvlei hot springs is classified as "pure" by virtue of its low content of dissolved mineral matter. You cannot visit this hot spring voluntarily (unfortunately it is situated inside the prison area). "Brandvlei" or "The Burning Marsh" was named after the regular view of steam rising from the rivulet flowing into the dam, especially during early mornings.[3]

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