Schluchsee, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Lake Locations:

Germany - Baden-Wurttemberg -

Also known as:  Schluch Lake

Germany’s southern Black Forest is a region with picturesque valleys, distinctive farmhouses and thick wooded mountains. Schluchsee (see=lake) stretches out over 1,270 acres in the middle of the Black Forest. With more than enough water for swimming, boating, and sailing, surrounded by all the attractions of the Black Forest, Schluchsee is a fantastic destination in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg.

Schluchsee is a glacial lake formed during the last ice age. It was originally less than 2 miles long. A dam built between 1929 and 1932 raised water levels 98 feet and increased the lake’s size to four and a half miles long by about a mile wide. The lake and dam are used for hydroelectric power, and water is fed through tunnels and weirs generating power until it reaches the Rhine River. The almost 2000-foot drop between the Schluchsee and the Rhine increase the water pressure significantly and make it the ideal place for a hydroelectric project. The water is then pumped back along the same path through the lake’s pumped-storage power station. That water, along with Schluchsee’s natural inflow, feeds the lake.

Even before the construction of Schluchsee Dam enlarged the lake, people were coming to the lake to fish, particularly for whitefish, and to enjoy the Black Forest scenery. Today, visitors can sail, windsurf, and spend the day out in a rowboat or pedal boat. Electric motors only are permitted on the lake to protect the environment. Ferries transport tourists across the lake in the summer. A 12-mile long trail extends around the lake, and there are trails for hiking and biking nearby. In the winter, the lake freezes and visitors can walk and skate across the surface. Cross country ski trails, downhill slopes and winter sports are all easily available from Schluchsee.

The southwest shore of Schluch Lake is quiet and secluded. A few farm houses are scattered along the shore, but there are no villages. It is a beautiful place to stroll and enjoy the Black Forest countryside. Villages on the other side of the lake have restaurants, shops and self-catering holiday homes, cottages and vacation rentals. Schluchsee is just 25 miles from Freiburg which provides any amenities a visitor might need. The Black Forest has a variety of accommodations and attractions.

Called “silva nigra” by the Romans because the trees were so thick they kept out the light, the Black Forest stayed impenetrable and inspired a wealth of fairytales and legends until the Middle Ages. At first the huge trees were cut down for timber. The glass and mining industries, however, required a great deal of energy, and wood was burned as fuel. By the 17th century almost half of the forest’s trees had been cut down, making way for the open spaces and meadows that dot the forest today. The fairytales and legends stayed and grew, and the Black Forest still has a mystical quality.

Those interested in exploring the history of the Black Forest will enjoy a day trip from Schluchsee to Vogtsbauernhof, the Black Forest Open Air Museum. The 12-acre museum was established in 1964 and includes six furnished farmhouses and outbuildings built from the 16th century through the 19th century. The museum protects the cultural heritage of the region and illustrates what life was like in the Black Forest over the past 400 years.

Farmhouses with roofs that almost touch the ground, enchanted forests, and fairytales and legends all add to the charm of the “Hochschwarzwald,” the southern Black Forest. The waters of Schluchsee add to the charm of a Baden-Wurttemberg vacation.

Things to do at Schluchsee

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Museum

Fish species found at Schluchsee

  • Whitefish

Schluchsee Photo Gallery

Schluchsee Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Schluchseewerk

Surface Area: 1,270 acres

Shoreline Length: 11 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,051 feet

Maximum Depth: 200 feet

Water Volume: 87,557 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1932

Drainage Area: 28 sq. miles

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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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