This is Tasmania’s most popular trout fishery, receiving more anglers and more angler effort than any other water in the State.
Damming the Upper Lake River and flooding the area that originally contained two lakes, Blue Lake and Sand Lake, and the Morass marsh made the modern day Arthurs Lake. The water in Arthurs Lake is used for hydro electricity generation with the water being pumped into Great Lake to feed the power station at Poatina. Brown trout are the only species of trout recorded at Arthurs as has been the case since the 1960s. Rainbow trout were present in the early days. Arthurs is known for its good catch rate for its wild stocks of brown trout.
Arthurs Lake brown trout population is totally self-sustaining with ample recruitment coming from the creeks that flow into the northern and western shores. The IFS does not need to stock Arthurs and it is managed as a wild brown trout fishery. Each year the spawning run is monitored to gauge the average size of the fish making up the adult population. In recent years the average weight in the spawning run has been around 850 grams with the size ranging from 200 to 1800 grams.
The condition of the fish in the spawning run is of a good standard and this is usually the case in the fish caught by anglers in the lake during throughout the season. Each year fish in excess of the old fashioned benchmark of 10 pounds are caught and fish of up to 16 pounds have been caught in recent years. Arthurs is a productive fishery with the IFS postal questionnaire and creel surveys indicating an average catch rate of 2 fish per day. Experienced anglers catch significantly more than this and during hatches in summer some people attain their bag limit of 12 fish. All angling methods are permitted at Arthurs and each is equally popular and practiced. Whilst having a boat can be an advantage and open up more opportunities there are a number of good fishing spots accessible from the shore.
Set rod bait fishing is popular and productive with worms and wattle grubs being the recommended baits. Bait fishing using mudeyes has become popular in recent years and is best practiced near sunken timber and dead trees. Lure casting and trolling are especially worthwhile around the Morass where sunken timber and dead trees provide cover for fish to wait in ambush for passing prey. Early in the season it can be worthwhile trolling deeper lures, using leadcore line or down rigging methods. Springtime also brings spawning galaxias close to the rocky shores where the trout that feed upon them are often brought undone by soft-plastics worked close to shore. Fly-fishing at Arthurs covers the full facets of the sport from polaroiding cruisers to dun feeders, galaxid feeders and loch style fishing from a boat. The Cowpaddock at the northern end of the old Blue Lake is amongst the most popular and productive spot for shore based fly fishers especially during the mayfly season (November to February). Boat based fishers often move according to where the fish are and that will be dictated by what is on the menu for the trout at the time. Anglers are permitted to use boats but should be aware that the lake is exposed to all wind directions and can get quite rough.