Donghu ASI-12

Riparian Nation(s) China
Surface Area 28 km2 Mean Depth 2.2 m Volume 0.06 km3
Shoreline Catchment Area 97 km2 Residence Time 0.44 yr
Frozen Period Jan or Feb Mixing Type Polymictic Morphogenesis/Dam
Related Info/Site


Dong (east) -hu (lake) is a small lake in the Wuchang Ward of Wuhan City, the capital of Hubei Province. It obtained its name from being located at the eastern end of this big city. is a natural dammed lake formed in the early Holocene as a so-called "lateral lake" attached to the right bank of the Chang Jiang which flows through Wuhan, and is only five kilometers away from the river.

The lake area, especially the northwestern coast, is a park and recreation area for the citizens of Wuhan, with museums, a botanic garden, observation towers, restaurants, sanatoria, beautiful groves of exotic swamp cypress, swimming sites and sightseeing boats. The Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology established by the Academia Sinica in 1954 is located on the westernmost shore of the lake. Its research activity made Dong-hu one of the most familiar lakes of China to world limnologists.

It is also intensively utilized for fish production. Many small bays are separated from the main lake by causeways for artificial stocking of fish. Introduction of such planktophagous fishes as the silver carp and the bighead carp, increased the fish production by more than four times in a seven-year period. The increasing density of fish as well as the inflow of waste water from the city and industrial factories, however, has caused a rapid change in the lake's biota. Accelerated eutrophication is producing noxious effects which now hinder the utilization of lake water and recreational activity. A plan for establishing a waste water treatment plant for domestic sewage and the diversion of treated water to Chang Jiang, is now being carried out by the Municipality of Wuhan (Q).

Photo of Donghu
Photo: T. Kira