Great Lake (Tasmania)
The northern end of the Great Lake
|Location||Central Northern Tasmania|
|Type||Natural lake; reservoir|
|Primary outflows||Shannon River|
|Catchment area||399 square kilometres (154 sq mi)|
|Max. length||24.6 km (15.3 mi)|
|Max. width||12 km (7.5 mi)|
|Surface area||176 km2 (68 sq mi)|
|Surface elevation||1,030 m (3,380 ft)|
|Frozen||During some winters.|
|Islands||Reynolds ;Howells Neck; Pine; Helen; Kangaroo; and Maclanachans Point|
|Settlements||Miena, Breona, Liaweenee|
Location and features
Fed by the Pine Rivulet and Breton Rivulet, the original natural freshwater lake, much smaller in size than its current 176-square-kilometre (68 sq mi) surface area, was expanded as a result of the 1922 construction of Miena Dam #2 at its southern outflow into the Shannon River. This dam is considered to be of high heritage value by The Institution of Engineers Australia.
Miena Dam #2 created the once-famous Shannon Rise, in the 500-metre section of the Shannon River between the dam and Shannon Lagoon. The hatching of thousands of caddis moths in early summer, attracted large numbers of trout and fishermen.
In 1967, a sloping-core rock-fill dam was built just downstream of Miena Dam #2 to increase the maximum-capacity level, destroying the Shannon Rise. It was raised a further six metres in 1982, causing Miena Dam #2 to be periodically submerged.
At 1,030 metres (3,380 ft) above sea level, the lake's uses include hydro-electric power, fishing, and tourism. Water from the lake flows into Poatina Power Station to generate hydro-electric power.
The nearby towns of Liaweenee and Miena are popular holiday shack destinations for local tourists, despite the area's reputation as being one of the coldest places in the generally mild-weathered state. During the winter months, when the weather is hardly conducive to camping, the population of these two small towns drops to two or three hundred. Parts of the lake surface have frozen during July in some years.
The Lake Highway or Highland Lakes Road runs along the west side of the lake and is sometimes snowed under in winter.
- "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. Australian National Committee on Large Dams. 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
- "Poatina Power Station Fact Sheet" (PDF). Our power stations: Great Lake - South Esk. Hydro Tasmania. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
- Jetson, Tim (1989) The roof of Tasmania : a history of the Central Plateau. Launceston, Tas. : Pelion Press. ISBN 0-7316-7214-3
- Tasmania. Hydro-Electric Commission (1925), The hydro-electric power of Tasmania : a description of the Great Lake Hydro-Electric Development and of the Tasmanian Electricity Supply System Published under authority, Hydro-Electric Department of Tasmania, Tait, Melbourne
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