Sunwater’s Leslie Dam

Have you ever come across one of those places that you’ve etched into your mind as an “I must remember to come here” spot, but then come holidays, you’re scratching your head thinking of what to do?

We have the perfect place for you so jot it down, put it in the diary, on a post-it note, wherever you need, because come Easter holidays, Leslie Dam in the place to be.

This water playground is only a few minutes west of Warwick and popular with boaties, swimmers and anglers alike.

Kim’s headed out with Warwick Powerboat and Ski Club’s Craig McClune for some high-speed boating as well as a little fishing.

“I love the area,” Craig said. “Just the fishing and the serenity and you know it’s just a very nice little social dam to fish and to play on.”

“It’s quite a big area of water now so there’s plenty of room for everybody to get out of the way of each other. We have jet skis, skiers, fisherman, tubes, canoes, kayaks and sailboats.”

Sunwater’s John Kelly leads the team that oversees the dam’s operations.

“The dam holds 106,000 megalitres,” John explained. “The dam predominantly stores water for irrigated agriculture and urban use so for the township of Warwick which is only 10 minutes away.”

“It’s very well located for people to come and use it for a weekend or day or even longer. There’re some camping facilities around the dam, both council operated and privately operated camping facilities so people can come for as long as they wish.”

A stellar location with stellar boating usually means stellar fishing and that rings true for Leslie! It’s a stocked impoundment.

“All the money that we put in to have a fishing permit so we can fish here, that money is then put back into restocking of the yellow belly and the cod population in the dam and the guys do a great job of that as well,” Craig said.

Craig like to use saltwater yabbies for bait, a rare delicacy for the freshwater fish no doubt!

Speaking of fish, the dam is predominantly stocked with golden perch, Murray cod and silver perch.

Bill Fearby from the Warwick Fish Stocking Association helps keep fish figures up.

“We released over 200,000 golden perch this year, 10,000 Murray Cod and a similar number of silver perch,” Bill explained. “We put 691 concrete pipes into the dam a couple of years ago on 346 sites.”

These pipes provide a breeding ground for the fish and Craig’s snag of a little cod is proof of the dam’s healthy population.

“It’s one of the most chased after ones out here everyone’s just wants to catch their Murray Cod,” Craig said.

The stocking program coupled with very healthy water levels has Leslie Dam at its peak!

“It’s fantastic to see the dam looking as great as it does today,” said John. “It wasn’t that long ago that the dam was down to about 4 per cent.”

To fully enjoy your day our at Leslie, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.

“The first thing is to enjoy themselves,” John highlighted. “The second thing is to of course is to stay safe and we really like people to read the signs, be aware of their conditions because conditions can change.”

Changes like varied water levels can have a huge impact on your activities, even if the water surface doesn’t look any different.

“There may be more water in the dam or there may be less water when they’re here now because we’ve released some of that water so obstacles that may have been well under the surface could be near the surface just because of the changing conditions and the way the dam operates.”

There are a number of signs around the dam to help people understand how to stay safe.

“There’s speed restrictions in some parts of the dam as well just to ensure that people have an enjoyable day and ultimately go home safe and sound,” John said.

Leslie Dam is owned by Sunwater, a bulk water service provider for regional Queensland.

Before you venture out there for yourself, be sure to check dam conditions on the Sunwater website.

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