This 300ha irrigation storage reservoir
is situated just north-east of Manorburn Dam and east of Alexandra.
The Poolburn Dam and the resulting lake was formed in 1931 and is
now a popular recreational venue for a variety of water-based activities.
is a quiet exposed water in Central Otago amidst some beautiful
scenery. The surrounding land is very open and tussock covered providing
little shelter in adverse weather conditions. The hills around the
lake have many interesting rock formations (and there are some rocks
that rise to just below the surface in the lake itself so if using
a boat take care).
The lake has a number of islands which provide
good trout habitat. Spin and fly fishing are the best methods to
fish this water, though bait fishing with worms is legal and popular
with younger anglers. Trolling is also popular but the number of
submerged rocks can take their toll on lures (and outboard propellors!).
There is no need to use deep sinking lead lines however as most
anglers prefer to troll using normal spinning gear. Most fish caught
are in fact close to the shore and the lake can have an excellent
rise in the warmer months.
Trout cruise the shallows and will feed in very
shallow water so long casting is not always necessary or advisable.
During the warm weather any wind can blow a range of insects onto
the surface which can induce a savage splashy rise. There is also
an amazing midge and sandfly population and when these are hatching
will bring trout to a feeding frenzy.
Road access is either south of Ida Valley, turning
south off SH85; or continuing along the turn-off from Alexandra
towards Upper Manorburn Dam.
The last 9km of the road to Poolburn is unmetalled
and only accessible for use by 4WD vehickles during and following
Boat ramps are situated:
- just south of the dam at Drunken Woman Bay
- in the north at Hutts Bay.
- at the north tip in Bonspiel Bay