Boondooma Dam in the South Burnett Valley has largely retreated into the shadows in recent years.
Declining water levels, drought, and the emergence of headline grabbing barra dams, such as Awoonga and Monduran, has seen the waterway overlooked by many people. However with recent rain and a significant increase in water level Boondooma is once again back to its old self with quality fishing and beautiful surrounds beckoning visitors to return.
Located 15km from the closest township Proston, Boondooma Dam was built in the late 1970s on the Boyne and Stuart rivers and when full holds a 212,000mL capacity. Used for irrigation, power generation and recreational use, Boondooma currently sits at 45% capacity, a vast improvement on the 10% it had just over a year ago.
For visitors to the dam the focus is definitely on the fishing with both lure and bait.
The dam’s yellowbelly is one of the major draw cards for bait anglers, with the timbered upper reaches and rockline steep edges and points, prime locations to target. The annual Yellowbelly Fishing Competition is one of the biggest tournaments on the calendar and attracts anglers from across the state to tangle with this highly sought after species.
For many of the sportfishing-minded anglers it’s the bass that make Boondooma home that are the main focus. Found in range of different location types including, flats, timber, drop-offs, rocky points and creek beds, anglers have a host of options at their disposal.
While the drought delivered a substantial blow to the condition and distribution of many fish, increased water levels and food supplies has seen things improve with larger and more active fish starting to reappear.
ABT’s BASS Pro Series returned to Boondooma in April after a three year absence, with the second round of the 2009 series strongly supported by the local community, council and competitors. Anglers were impressed by the revival of the location as a tournament venue and level of support shown by the community for the event and waterway. The ABT BASS tour returns again in spring, with the waterway playing host to the BASS Electric Convention, September 26-27.
There’s also plenty to keep non-fishing visitors to the dam occupied, with the local campground featuring picnic facilities, tennis court, and children’s’ playground.
A lookout sits adjacent to the dam wall and offers an unencumbered view of the dam as it stretches its way southwest towards the upper reaches of the Boyne River.
For those historically-minded there is the Boondooma Homestead to visit, with the 1850’s building giving visitors a glimpse into the past and the pioneering history of the area.
The Lake Boondooma Camping and Recreation Area offers visitors a host of accommodation options, including modern self-contained cabins, a communal bunkhouse, caravan park, and unpowered camp sites. Campers and caravan park users are further serviced with a well maintained and resourced amenities block, camp kitchen, camp fires, laundry, and wood and electric BBQs at their disposal.
The self-contained cabins sleep up to five people, feature modern kitchens, en suites, television and a front verandah that’s perfect for kicking back on and taking in views of the dam. The bunkhouse is ideal for large groups, with its communal atmosphere a perfect match for a fun fuelled group fishing trip.
The Lake Boondooma Kiosk is the headquarters for all accommodation bookings and enquiries, with the well run business and congenial hosts making visits to the area enjoyable and trouble free. The kiosk is well stocked with food, drinks, petrol, both unleaded and diesel, fishing tackle, ice, Stocked Impoundment Permits (SIPs) and limited groceries available.
For anglers boatless and keen to wet a line, hire boats are available and can be booked at the kiosk.
For more information and accommodation contact Lake Boondooma Camping and Recreation Area on (07) 4168 9694 or visit the South Burnett Council website at www.wondai.qld.gov.au.Reads: 6644