LAKE Learmonth is no longer a haven for fishing, boating and water sports, with the lake completely drying out on Tuesday.
Learmonth resident and Lake Learmonth Advisory Committee chairman Fon Ryan lives about 200 metres from the lake, and watches it each day.
He has measured the water levels monthly since 1967.
Mr Ryan said the lake dried out quite irregularly, with water consistent between 1946 and
He said from 2002, the lake had essentially stayed dry until the 2010 and 2011 floods, but was used for water sports only on the summers of 2011-12 and 2012-13.
“In 2011, it became within 32 centimetres of being full. That’s the highest it got to,” Mr Ryan said.
Mr Ryan said he was able to see a thin layer of mud still on the lake’s surface on Monday, with the mud dry on Tuesday.
Salt traces can be seen on the surface.
Mr Ryan has memories of swimming and fishing in the lake when he was a child, having moved just up the road from where he grew up.
“It’ll stay dry until it rains. And then it’s a question of whether it will continue to rain enough to maintain its levels.”
He said Learmonth had received 451 millimetres of rain in 2014, about 240 millimetres below average.
“It’s not going to fill again while we have dry years,” he said.
“It’s a disappointing for the township and the people who use it, like the yacht club and ski club.”
Mr Ryan led a walk across Lake Learmonth five weeks after it had completely dried up in 2002.
He said Lake Burrumbeet had also seen a change in levels from last summer, with ski boats unable to use the lake.
“There’s only three lakes around here. When they’re dry, people travel to the Barwon in Geelong or up the Murray, generally,” he said.