Surface Area: 6400 ha
Capacity: 4,000,000 Ml
Lake Dartmouth is a deep, steep-sided storage covering the confluence of the Dart and Mitta Mitta Rivers. It extends some 40km from the retaining wall to it's furthest point up the Mitta River. 'The Dart' is essentially a boating lake, and shore based angling is restricted to the area around the only boat ramp. Camping is permitted on the lake shore at three locations, Eight Mile Creek, the end of the Dart Arm and Eustace Creek. Eustace Creek can be accessed from the Nariel road via a dry weather track, and Eight Mile Creek by boat from the boat ramp. The lake is a popular destination with regional anglers, being only 1.5 hours from Albury-Wodonga and many Melbourne anglers also make regular treks to the lake. They come not only for the fishing, but also the spectacular mountain country and crystal clear waters.
Target Species: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and Macquarie Perch. Small populations of Murray Cod and Trout Cod (totally protected) are present as well as European Carp. Brown and Rainbow Trout are present in good numbers and are undoubtedly the most sought after species. Dartmouth is the last stronghold of Macquarie Perch in Australia, but catches have been declining in recent years.
Best Methods: For trout, trolling is king. In the cooler months flatline trolling of lures with or without attractors is successful. Trolled mudeyes and worms are also worth a try. In summer months downriggers and leadlines are required as the fish can hold in depths of 20 metres or more. Bubble floating and lure casting amongst the drowned timber can also be very effective.
Macquarie Perch are best fished for with worms or gents angled on the bottom in 3-6 metres of water. Late afternoon and through the night are the best times for maccas.
Lure Selection: Cobra style lures, such as Tasmanian Devils, account for the majority of the fish. A broad color selection is desirable, but pink and purple should be in the tackle box in the cooler months. Minnow style lures, such as Rapala, Baby Merlin and Knolls Native Minnow are also worth a swim.
Hot Spots: Dartmouth is a huge lake and due to it's altitude can be subject to extreme and dangerous weather conditions. However anglers in small craft can still access good fishing in sheltered waters close to the boat ramp. The main basin holds some good trout as does the area near the dam wall. The eight mile creek arm also fishes well and is quickly reached from the boat ramp. For those in bigger craft there are a multitude of bays and creeks on both the Mitta and Dart arms to explore. Toke Creek at the top of the Mitta arm can be a top producer at times.
Getting There: From Wodonga take the Murray Valley highway to Tallangatta, then the Omeo Highway through Eskdale to the Dartmouth turn off near the Mitta township. Continue through Dartmouth township to the boat ramp.