Lake Pedder lies to the west of Hobart. To reach it by road requires a trip through the Derwent Valley via New Norfolk, Westerway, National Park and Maydena. The road journey from Hobart to Strathgordon (located at the north-western end of Lake Pedder) takes between 2 and 2½ hours.
Lake Pedder was created in 1973 as a result of the Gordon power scheme. The original Lake Pedder was a much smaller lake that was flooded to create the hydro electricity scheme. The Gordon power scheme requires Lake Pedder to remain at or above a specified water level (believed to be two metres below full capacity). Excess water from Lake Pedder is passed into Lake Gordon through the canal at McPartlan Pass.
The road to Strathgordon and to the Gordon dam provides an opportunity to see a stunning lake and surrounding mountains, especially on a fine day. Visitors must return the same way as they enter, but the journey is worthwhile and the Lake Pedder Chalet, located at Strathgordon, provides a most hospitable and refreshing place to stop. The road to Strathgordon is sealed all of the way.
The more time you spend at Lake Pedder, the more you can see. Different weather conditions change the various views of the lake and mountains. On a still day, the water reflections of the surrounding landscape are wonderful to behold. The sandy beaches that are forming around the lake dazzle the eyes in the sunshine. There are birds and animals to see, especially platypus in the lake. These things are even more visible if you can take a boating trip on the lake. There is also the trout fishing.
In the early days after the flooding to create the present Lake Pedder, the trout fishing was renowned for the large fish caught. Fish above five kilograms were plentiful and frequently caught. In those days there was a significant residential population at Strathgordon. It was this group that formed the Lake Pedder Anglers Club, initially known as the Strathgordon Licensed Anglers Club (SLAC). Today, brown trout are plentiful and there is occasionally a rainbow trout. However, the big fish are no longer caught. A fish larger than 1½ kilograms has not been caught from Lake Pedder for at least five years. [There has been a story of a tourist catching a 5lb rainbow off Teds Beach].
Many experienced fishermen believe some large fish are still there. There are frequently stories of broken lines. The yabbie population in the lake is enormous and provides a food supply for the trout. Most fish caught from Lake Pedder contain yabbies in their gut and stories of still alive yabbies taken from the gut abound. The availability of such a food source could take the big fish to locations untouched by fishermen.
Each year, around the Australia Day public holiday, the Lake Pedder Anglers Club hosts a five-day trout fishing competition. The 2006 "Back to Pedder" competition will be held from 25 January 2006 until 29 January 2006. Fish one day, or all five. Just be at Strathgordon for the prize announcements to win. "Back to Pedder" 2006 also offers a challenge to other clubs (not necessarily fishing clubs) to beat three nominated fishermen representing the Lake Pedder Anglers Club. This year the event is sponsoring CanTeen, an organisation established in 1985 to support, develop and empower young people living with cancer by providing a high quality Australia-wide peer support network of young people living with cancer. Competition booklets are available from good Tasmanian tackle shops, or by writing to the Lake Pedder Anglers Club, 63 Giblin Street, Lenah Valley 7008. (or telephone on 0362 781 454). The major prize for "Back to Pedder" 2006 is a 14 foot aluminium boat designed and built by Fords Welding at Geeveston, a Dumbier trailer and an 18hp long-shaft 2-stroke Tohatsu outboard motor valued at about $7,500. There are also more than 100 other prizes to be won. Details of prizes are contained in the competition booklet.
Fishing on Lake Pedder centres around two locations, Scotts Peak at the Southern end and Strathgordon in the north. There is a team available at the Scotts Peak camping ground, up until 2.00pm on Saturday, 28 January 2006, to accept entries into the competition and to weigh fish caught for the competition. There is also a team located at the Lake Pedder Chalet at Strathgordon for entries and weighing fish. The competition concludes at 12.00 noon sharp on Sunday, at Strathgordon. Prizes are announced soon after the close, and winners must be available at Strathgordon to receive their prize, otherwise the prize-winner is redrawn. The preferred method of entry is by mail to 63 Giblin Street, Lenah Valley. There are special prizes available to entrants who lodge their entry forms before Friday, 20 January 2006.
It is important to remember that persons 14 years and older must hold a current Angling licence to fish for trout during the competition. Licences may be obtained from tackle shops or from Service Tasmania.
The Lake Pedder Chalet, at Strathgordon, is an excellent host for the "Back to Pedder" fishing competitions. As well as the fishing, there is a ladies only night at the Chalet on Friday, 27 January (men can gather at Teds Beach!), a night of fun at the Chalet on Saturday night, with treasure hunt for the children and a disco that will go on until the last person drops. Prize presentation is on Sunday, 29 January, at the Chalet, commencing at 12.45pm.
In addition to the functions, the Lake Pedder Chalet provides shopping for essentials for campers (including fuel, ice, bread and milk), a bar, an excellent restaurant, accommodation and showers. During the activities on Sunday, the Chalet will provide BBQ food at extremely reasonable prices.
The Lake Pedder Anglers Club welcomes anyone and everyone to enter the competition and to join in the fun. There is a small entry fee. The Club Committee is mindful that the future of fishing lies with our children, so many prizes are directed towards juniors. Bring the family and your friends to Lake Pedder over the Australia Day period and enjoy a wonderful experience with both the scenery and the fishing.