Lake Albert (New South Wales)

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Lake Albert
from Willans Hill
Location New South Wales
Coordinates 35°10′01″S 147°22′23″E / 35.1670°S 147.3730°E / -35.1670; 147.3730Coordinates: 35°10′01″S 147°22′23″E / 35.1670°S 147.3730°E / -35.1670; 147.3730
Lake type artificial lake
Primary inflows Crooked and String Bark creeks
Primary outflows Evaporation
Catchment area 76.46 km2 (29.52 sq mi)
Basin countries Australia
Managing agency Wagga Wagga City Council
Designation Recreational
Built 1890s
Surface area 125 ha (310 acres)[1]
Average depth 3.6 m (12 ft)
Settlements Lake Albert

Lake Albert is an artificial lake in the suburb of Lake Albert in Wagga Wagga in New South Wales, Australia. Covering 125 ha,[1] the lake was built in 1868 on what was known as Swampy Plains and was named after Prince Albert.

Surrounded by parkland, the lake is a venue for water sports, fishing, walking and bird watching.[2] The lake is home to the Boat Club and one of the town's two golf courses, Wagga Wagga Country Club, is situated on the western shore of the lake.



Barry Carne Memorial Ski Race in May 2006.
Dead and dying European carp in the lake.

On 8–9 May 1976, the Water Ski Challenge Shield was held on the lake for the first time which was formed by Zone 5 of the New South Wales Ski Association and the Wagga Boat Club.[3] On 9 May 1976, Australian Ski and Victorian trial champion, Barry Carne from the Melbourne suburb of Lower Templestowe, died when he collapsed and cart wheeled up to twelve times during the sixth lap of the final heat of the ski challenge.[3]

The Barry Carne Memorial Ski Race was held on the second Saturday and Sunday in May of each year, subject to water levels in the lake. On 13 and 14 May 2006 the event returned to Lake Albert after a 4-year absence due to the lake being at record low levels owing to drought but was cancelled in 2007 due to low water levels.[4]

On 12 May 2009, due to the low water levels in the lake the Barry Carne High and Dry event was held.[5] In March 2010 it was announced that Barry Carne Memorial Ski Race would return to the lake on 3rd Saturday and Sunday in May, after record breaking rain had filled that lake.[6]

Water levels[edit]

Due to years of drought the water level at Lake Albert reached record lows[7] and in 2005 Wagga Wagga City Council considered pumping water into the lake to prevent further fish deaths which was ruled out by a senior council official.[8] After a thunderstorm dumped around 50 mm (2.0 in) in the area the lake reached its full depth in early November 2005.

In January 2007, a ban on water sport activities on Lake Albert was likely if the lake's water level drops below 1.2 m (3.9 ft) due to the ongoing drought.[9]

On 20 March 2008, the lake was closed for the second time since January 2008[10] due to high levels of Faecal Coliforms in the water.[11][12]

In January 2010, the lake's water levels were at record lows with a large amount of fish, mostly European carp, dying due to the low water levels, blue-green algae and hot weather.[13][14] With the low water levels and dying fish, residents around the lake fear that a mosquitoes outbreak is possible which could see an outbreak of the Ross River fever.[15]

The lake was expected to be almost dried up by the end of March,[15] however heavy rain fell over the area in mid February which had slightly raised the lake's water level after falling to 200 millimetres (7.9 in).[16][17]

Record breaking rains in the catchment on 7 March had raised the lakes level to 2.0 metres (6.6 ft), the deepest level since 2006.[17]

Silt removal[edit]

On 23 March 2009, local businesses volunteered time and equipment with the Wagga Wagga City Council paying $30,000 in fuel costs, began to remove silt on the northern end of the lake with 8,000 m3 (280,000 cu ft) of silt to be removed and used at the Wagga Wagga Exhibition Centre (Equex) for spectator mounds.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b "Lake Albert". Australian Explorer. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  2. ^ "Lake Albert". Wagga Wagga City Council. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  3. ^ a b "Ski Expert's Death Fall 'At 80 MPH'". The Daily Advertiser. 10 May 1976. pp. 1, 2. 
  4. ^ "Barry Carne Ski Race Cancelled". Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  5. ^ "Resident forms action group to help save lake". The Daily Advertiser. 11 May 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  6. ^ Muir, Stephanie (11 May 2009). "Barry Carne comp to make welcome return". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Low water sparks boat ban for Lake Albert". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  8. ^ "Lake boost not considered fish kill cure". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  9. ^ "Ban On Water Sports Likely". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 2007-01-09. 
  10. ^ "Lake Albert Closed due to blue green algae". Wagga Wagga City Council. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  11. ^ "Lake Albert Readings". Wagga Wagga City Council. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  12. ^ "Lake Albert Closed". Wagga Wagga City Council. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  13. ^ Higgins, Ben; Holliday, Rebekah (30 January 2010). "Stink raises lake health concerns". The Daily Advertiser. p. 5. 
  14. ^ Higgins, Ben (1 February 2010). "Waiting for rain as dead fish surface". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Higgins, Ben (1 February 2010). "Sad sight as lake dries up". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  16. ^ Muir, Stephanie (15 February 2010). "Rain falls, but lake remains low". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Davies, Laura (9 March 2010). "Revitalised Lake Albert 'deepest it's been in years'". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  18. ^ Holliday, Rebekah (2009-03-24). "Council begins to mow Lake Albert". The Daily Advertiser. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  19. ^ Higgins, Ben (2009-03-28). "Pitching in to improve lake". The Daily Advertiser. p. 3. 

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