Diemelsee, Hesse & North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Lake Locations:

Germany - Hesse - North Rhine-Westphalia -

The children ran ahead giggling and pushing past each other to race to the top, but she’s finally caught up to them, the break in the trees revealing their sandy heads and the breathtaking view over Diemelsee (see=lake). Even the children are momentarily stilled by the beautiful expanse of water stretching along the Diemel River Valley below them. Surrounded by the Diemelsee Nature Park in the northwest corner of the Hesse region in Germany, Diemelsee or Diemel Lake, is an unspoiled natural treasure practically designed to accommodate tourists and families.

Diemelsee is an impoundment of the Diemel River created by the Diemel Dam (Diemeltalsperre.) Construction on the dam started in 1912 and was completed in 1923. Created for flood control and to generate hydroelectric power, the rockfill gravity dam stands 138 feet high and has a crest length of 636 feet. It was considered an important source of energy during World War II and was a target for the famous Dambusters. The 617 Squadron of British airmen led bombing raids on six German dams in an attempt to cripple Hitler’s war machine. Called Operation Chastise, Diemel Dam was a secondary target and part of the third wave of attacks.

Today the dam is a starting point for one of the many trails that cross the area around Diemel Lake. The Diemelsee Nature Park is a fantastic place to hike and bike; a 39 mile-long walking trail skirts part of the lake’s shore and passes through several of the small villages around Diemelsee. The trail, known as the Diemelsteig, goes through the village of Rhenegge with its charming village church rebuilt in 1827 after a fire claimed it. Also on the Diemelsteig, the village of Adorf is home to a castle built in 1335 and a church built in the second half of the 12th century. A fossil and mining museum provides opportunities to explore the area’s geological and iron mining history.

There are other towns and villages around or near Diemelsee, including one of the same name, all with vacation rentals, holiday cottages, cafes and restaurants, some looking over the lake. The medieval town of Korbach has a wall and tower. The city of Marsberg has a history of glass blowing and copper mining. Visitors can tour a copper mine, and there are bike trails to explore the area in and around the city. Willingen is a spa and resort town especially popular in the winter for its ice skating and proximity to winter sports, including cross country and alpine ski trails.

Diemelsee is also popular in the winter for its ice fishing. Anglers can stay on the ice until it melts in February or March. Fishing in Diemel Lake is good year round with healthy populations of pike, perch, bream, trout and catfish. In addition to fishing, the lake is a popular place to swim, sail, windsurf and canoe, and pedal boats and boats with electric motors are available for rent. Several campgrounds dot the shore of Diemelsee, and the lake area has any amenity a visitor might need.

Shaped like an “M” lying on its side, Diemelsee is primarily in the Hesse region of Germany with part of the lake extending into the North Rhine-Westphalia region. Most of the lake’s visitors come from the Ruhr and Kassel areas. With the lake’s natural beauty and easy accessibility, however, it is rapidly becoming a favorite for tourists around the world. Tucked away in the mountains of Sauerland, Diemelsee is an exceptional west central German destination.

Things to do at Diemelsee

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Museum

Fish species found at Diemelsee

  • Catfish
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Trout

Diemelsee Photo Gallery

    Diemelsee Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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