As the worlds
largest man-made lake, Lake Nasser is approximately 310 miles in length
(1550 square miles) and, in places, can reach a depth of 600 feet.The lake
was created in the 1960s when the world famous High Dam was built. Together
with the old Aswan Dam (built by the British between 1898 and 1902) it provides
irrigation and electricity for the whole of Egypt. It is named for Gamal
Abdel Nasser, president of Egypt from 1956-1970. The southern third of the
lake is in Sudan and is called Lake Nubia. The lake is 312 miles (480 meters)
long and covers an area of 2026 square miles (5,248 km2). It has a maximum
depth of 426.5 ft (130 m) but its mean depth is 82.6 ft (25.2 m). The Egyptian
portion is 202 miles (324 km) long and has a shoreline of 4,875 miles (7,844
km). Part of the area Lake Nasser covers today was once the site of the
temples of Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II around 1200 B.C. The temple was
moved but other sites of historical significance was submerged. Thirty-two
species of fish, as well as Nile River crocodiles, are found in the lake.
80,000 tons of fish a year are caught.
The shoreline is a variety of desert landscapes, hilly and rugged, or flat
and sandy with clean freshwater beaches.
The lake is remote and thinly populated by peasant fishermen, the local
residents are Bedouin camel and sheep herdsmen who are occasionally seen
grazing their flocks on the sparse vegetation at the edge of the lake.
There are an impressive variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles. More than
100 species of birds have been recorded: Wild duck, Egyptian geese, pelicans,
herons, egrets and various species of hawks, kites, falcons and eagles will
be among the birds seen. In most areas there are crocodile and monitor lizards,
other types of wildlife include Dorcas gazelle, jackals, desert fox, and
various smaller desert mammals.
Lake Nasser is a place where a small group of anglers have literally hundreds
of square miles to themselves.
Lake Nasser has arguably the best freshwater fishing in the world for both
Nile perch and Tiger Fish. There are also several species of catfish; the
legendary giant Vundu being the biggest. Two species of Tilapia also inhabit
the lake and give a good account of themselves on a fly rod. All told there
are some thirty two species of fish in the lake.