Lake Purrumbete

Brown trout caught at Lake Purrumbete, Steve Cooper

The bulk of the serious trout-fishing action in Victoria is in the Western District crater lakes. Of these, Lake Purrumbete near Camperdown ranks in the top half a dozen trout lakes in the state in terms quality, quantity and accessibility.

The 552 ha lake is a freshwater legend, being a success story for as long as I can remember due to heavy stocking of brown and rainbow trout, and Chinook salmon. Some Atlantic salmon are also released. In addition, the lake has a good reputation for redfin that average about 1 kg. What attracts anglers more than quantity though is the fish quality. Trout  and salmon achieve dramatic growth rates and, while most caught are 1–2 kg, fish weighing  3–4 kg are not rare. On trout opening day in September 2003, Altona angler Rodney Smith caught a 7.25 kg brown trout, saying he  had seen several similar-sized trout that morning.

Lake Purrumbete is surrounded by private property and public access to the lake is restricted. There is a boat ramp and caravan park in the south-western corner and public shoreline access at ‘Hoses Rocks’, on the western shore, and through the quarry on the eastern side. After that it’s shanks’ pony.

Boats give easy access to all areas of the lake and shoreline. In 2009 a temporary boat-launching facility was established near Hoses Rocks after the lake level fell so much that the usual boat ramp was left high and dry.

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