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Somerset Dam
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 22 August 2005

Somerset Dam is a dam on the Stanley River (which feeds into the Brisbane River at Wivenhoe Dam), and the town is named after it.   The dam was built between 1933 and 1958, and was named after local identity Henry Plantagenet Somerset, a local grazier, and M.L.A. for Stanley in the Queensland Parliament from 1904 - 1920. The town was originally built to house the construction workers working on the dam, but remains today as a small township in the shire.

Being situated at the dam site, Somerset Dam supports a wealth of tourist activities associated with such a facility. The town boasts excellent water-skiing, magnificent scenery, BBQ and picnic facilities and fishing.

It is also just a short hour and half drive from Maleny along the D'Agular Highway, through Kilcoy one comes to the northern end of Somerset Dam.

Somerset Dam was constructed to service Brisbane and surrounding areas not only with a regular supply of water but also as a means of flood mitigation for the lower lying areas along the banks of the Brisbane River.

Somerset Dam, also known as Lake Somerset enjoys a regional reputation as being the premier freshwater motorised water sports venue, and one of the best freshwater fishing destinations in south east Queensland.   Fuel-powered boats are permitted on Lake Somerset.

Timetable of Constructions

1930   Preliminary investigations into the construction of a dam on the Stanley River.

1934  Government approval given to proceed with construction of the dam. Stanley River Works Board was constituted.

1935  Construction of the township and dam began.

1942   Work suspended due to war.

1948   Work resumed on the construction of the dam.

1953   Last structural concrete was placed.

1959   Dam works completed.

1985   Ownership and control of the Dam passed to Brisbane & Area Water Board (later South East Queensland Water Board).

2000    Ownership and control of the Dam passed to SEQWater Corporation.

A 4000 kva Hydro Electric Station combined with the water storage is part of this project.

 The owning body of Lake Somerset has been until recently the South East  Qld Water Board (SEQWB).   A recent incorportisation of this body has at  this stage meant no changes to recreational access or activities here, noting that a review is underway.   

A spokesman for the new South East Qld  Water Corporation (SEQWC) said, "It is all normal sailing just as  before and there are no changes planned for the immediate future".     With the success of the fish stocking program at Lake Somerset by the  local stocking group (SWFSA), DPI Fisheries and SEQWC the future looks  bright for freshwater fishing in SE Qld.    In the near future, mangrove  jack, tarpon,  trevally and jungle perch are real possibilities to  be stocked into not only Lake Somerset, but also many other of eastern  Qld's impoundments.

The area also has many enjoyable picnic areas all supplied with comfortable facilities, including toilets and bar-b-que areas.  Overnight camping areas nestled "among the gum trees" make a weekend camping trip a great Aussie holiday.

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 August 2005 )
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