From early settlement days, the Pine Rivers Shire developed from a series of small townships and service centre’s catering mostly to farming interests, as well as a military presence during WWII. The year 1957 saw the opening of a carton board mill at Petrie which in turn led to the development of pine plantations along with local businesses to support these operations, the results being growth in employment and population.
As a direct result of the paper mill’s construction, Lake Kurwongbah was planned and constructed during the period of 1956 – 1958 to supply water for its operation. It wasn’t until 1961 when a water treatment plant was opened at Petrie to treat water from Lake Kurwongbah for drinking purposes.
The Lake was created by damming Sideling Creek; and later on the dam wall was raised further, increasing capacity and now when full, the Lake covers an area of 367 hectares, holding over 15 000 mega litres of water.
The naming of Lake Kurwongbah was the subject of a newspaper competition in 1958. The winning entry was Kurwongbah which is the Indigenous name for Sideling Creek; Kurwongbah means “black duck”.
Lake Kurwongbah was owned and operated by the Pine River Shire Council’s (PRSC is now part of the Moreton Bay Regional Council), Pine Water until mid 2008, when a state government initiative to centralise control of water resources saw the stewardship pass to the newly formed Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority.
Two years prior to this the Shire Council opened Lake Kurwongbah to recreational fishing from the shoreline in public access areas, allowing PRFMA to begin a program aimed at reducing a resident population of Tilapia, an introduced noxious pest fish which harm our native fisheries.
The program also aimed to create a new recreational fishery for the benefit of local residents and visitors to the area. Many species of fish have been returned to this beautiful waterway. In the first year alone over 140 000 native fingerlings were released into the waters of Lake Kurwongbah.
While some of the species will continue to breed in the Lake, unfortunately not all of them do, so the volunteers of PRFMA continue to restock the lake to everyone’s benefit. This restocking effort has been made possible through a commitment to recurrent funding by the Moreton Bay Regional Council, We thank the Moreton Bay Regional Council for their commitment to making Lake Kurwongbah an exciting new fishery in the region.