Lakes & Rivers
Great Central Lake
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Great Central Lake is a popular recreation
lake that has some awesome fishing. The lake has fair numbers of Rainbow Trout
that average around 1 kg and Dolly Varden Trout that can reach 3 kg in weight.
There are Kokanee available also. The best method of fishing is by troll
as the lake is very deep.
Great Central Lake is located on Vancouver
Island. Great Central Lake is approximately 41 km long and has an area of
approximately 30 square km, providing plenty of places for the fishermen to fish
and boaters to explore.
The lake itself was carved by the last ice
First nations peoples were the first to explore the Great Central Lake area as
evidenced by a petroglyph long since underwater, which is rumored to be an arrow
design. This petroglyph is
located at the western end of the lake much
of which now is inside the southern boundary of Strathcona Park.
The lake water level was raised in the 1950's as part of a project to provide a
water supply for both fish hatcheries and hydroelectric generation. Prior
to the lake being raised it was the site of a large logging and milling
operation which ran several railroad logging camps as well as a floating A Frame
camp that used a massive float built of huge logs powered by a wood fired stem
donkey, to yard logs down to the lake. The lake shore itself was mostly steep
and inaccessible and even more so now due to the water levels fluctuating
because of the dam located on the Stamp River. The river system itself is home
to World Class Steelhead fishing. The steep unfriendly shoreline of the lake
made it necessary to build housing on floats and since the late 1800's there
have been many floating homes on Great Central Lake.
The man who discovered Della Lake and Della Falls, Joe Drinkwater owned one of
the early float homes on Great Central Lake. Popular opinion at the time was
that Vancouver Island could not be traversed through Bedwell Sound, so to settle
a bet Joe hiked overland and made his way west to east along Great Central Lake
and back to Port Alberni. He named the alpine lake and its outflow waterfalls
after his wife, Della. These spectacular falls plunge 1440 feet from Della Lake
to the Valley below in a noisy cascade. Della Falls can only be
reached by hiking inland 11 miles from the western end of Great Central Lake.
The Della Falls Trail start is boat access from the western end of Great
Central Lake or from Scout Beach Ministry Of Forests camp site.
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