Green Lake, Styria, Austria

Lake Locations:

Austria - Styria -

Also known as:  Gruner See

Exquisite yet fleeting are the words that describe Austria’s Green Lake. The tiny lake, ringed by pines and reflecting the massive Hochschwab Mountains, exists for only a few short months a year. A shallow pond within a park-like setting for most of the year, it becomes a stunning and picturesque study in green water from May through July. The dry lakebed is a lush meadow for most of the year, a county park favored for hiking and the contemplation of nature. The nature reserve offers hiking trails, park benches, bushes, grasses and flowering plants until warm spring days bring water from the thawing mountain peaks to drown it all. Only three or four feet deep during most of the year, Green Lake swells to depths of nearly 40 feet when fed by snow melt, submerging bushes and park benches alike under crystal-clear waters.

Green Lake, or Gruner See as it is also called, appears green from the submerged meadow vegetation and the reflection of the surrounding forest. The water remains cold, usually below 50 degrees. Swimming is not prohibited, but only those willing to brave the cold venture past wading. Several species of trout live in the lake, along with a variety of aquatic insects. Little in the way of aquatic vegetation grows during the short months of the lake’s existence. One of the most popular activities is scuba diving along the submerged trails. The clarity of the water lends a surreal quality to the underwater landscape, with submerged benches and bushes giving the impression of a slightly-distorted looking glass world. Diving at Green Lake is controlled, and divers must possess the appropriate diver ID card. A hotel-restaurant near the shore offers the only legal access for divers to enter the water and also provides air tank refills and rudimentary gear rental. Underwater photography is popular at Green Lake.

Diving at Green Lake is one of the primary attractions to the Tragoess region of Styria (one of Austria’s nine states). Tragoess, a resort town, is located less than five miles from Green Lake. Many hiking and mountain biking trails originate in Tragoess, making the area a favorite holiday destination. A number of guest cottages, hostels and inns welcome visitors to the region year round. In winter, several ski resorts and snow-based recreational destinations make the Tragoess area popular, with cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and dog sledding available on the trails. The State of Styria calls itself the ‘green heart’ of Austria, with Green Lake one of its most picturesque sights. Water from the snow melt in the region provides much of the drinking water for the city of Vienna.

The area around the Hochschwab Mountains boasts one of Europe’s largest populations of chamois (goat-antelope species). Several spectacular natural sights are located within hiking distance of Tragoess and Green Lake. Marie Gorge is a study in ferns and moss-covered rocks until winter turns the waters trickling down from the rocky cliffs into a fairyland of ice. A meadow of Edelweiss delights hikers who view their rare beauty during spring. Admirers are reminded to look but not touch. About 20 miles away, Austria’s newest reserve, the Gesause National Park offers a wide variety of terrain from mountain heights to alpine valleys and river bends harboring numerous forms of native wildlife and flora. And, although camping is not available directly on Green Lake, a number of campgrounds and caravan parks are located nearby including on Zenzsee Lake in Tragoess. First noted in written records in 1023, the long history of Tragoess can be enjoyed at the Heritage Museum. Exhibits here document the trades and crafts practiced over hundreds of years, with documentaries about past area cults and exhibits depicting agriculture and forestry as practiced in the region.

A vacation that includes Green Lake is perfect for those who would enjoy a walking holiday around central Austria. All of Styria is picturesque and geared toward those who want to hike along country roads and across rough tracks to view some of Europe’s best scenery. Inns and guest cottages are found in many of the small villages, while local fare available in most local cafes is filling and suitable for the hearty appetites generated by physical activity. Green Lake attracts the kind of visitors most comfortable in sturdy boots and backpacks. A good camera is a must.

*Statistics for Green Lake are not available as the lake’s size varies year to year according to snow melt.

Things to do at Green Lake AUT

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Swimming
  • Scuba Diving
  • Campground
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Dog Sledding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Green Lake AUT

  • Trout

Green Lake AUT Photo Gallery

Green Lake AUT Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

Shoreline Length: 1 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,500 feet

Maximum Depth: 40 feet

Trophic State: Oligotrphic

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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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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

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.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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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.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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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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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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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.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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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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