Lake Callide

Barramundi caught at Lake Callide, Steve Cooper

Built on upper Callide Creek, a Dawson River tributary 20 km east of Biloela (pronounced bilo-wela), this lake supplies cooling waters for the nearby coal-burning power station that’s part of the Boyne Island complex.

Lake Callide has been stocked with saratoga, sleepy cod, yellowbelly and silver perch and has become an outstanding barramundi fishery.

The lake produces barramundi  to 26 kg and yellowbelly to 5.4 kg. It also has a huge population of redclaw as well as species like dewfish (eel-tailed catfish) and freshwater long tom. Forage species include bony bream and stripey grunter.

The dam has excellent facilities, including a toilet block, picnic tables, barbecues and tap water. When I was last there, boats were being launched from the southern shore, because a steep rocky ramp along the western shore was out of favour with boaters.

I fished the lake with local angler Norm Crouch. We didn’t catch any big barramundi but we did manage to hook a few oversized yellowbelly. ‘Barramundi bite best during the warmer months of the year from late September to early April,’ Norm says. ‘Yellowbelly fill the void during the colder months.’

Most anglers use depth sounders to find rocks and channels, like the old creekbed that runs along the southern shore. Top spots include the bay to the east of the disused quarry on the southern shore, and another bay directly across the lake from the quarry. Structure, such as old stands of timber, is scarce. The best of it is found at the back of the lake where the creek runs in.

An aerator pipe running into the lake from the power station is a major fish attractor, but there is a ‘no fish zone’ around the aerator. Many anglers fish the lake at night, and you don’t have to be Einstein to know where most of the boats will be found. A Stocked Impoundment Permit is required.

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