Lake (Chinese: 鄱阳湖/鄱陽湖; pinyin: Póyáng Hú, Gan:
Po-yong U), located in
Jiangxi Province, is the largest freshwater
lake in China.
The lake is fed by the Gan, Xin, and
Xiu rivers, which connect to the
Yangtze through a channel.
The area of Poyang
Lake fluctuates dramatically between the wet and
dry seasons, but in recent years the size of the lake has been
decreasing overall. In a normal year the area of the lake averages
3,500 square kilometres (1,400 sq mi). In early 2012, due to
drought, sand quarrying, and the practice of storing water at the
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam the area of the lake reached a low of about 200
square kilometres (77 sq mi). The lake provides a habitat
for half a million migratory birds and is a favorite destination
During the winter, the lake becomes home to a large number of
migrating Siberian cranes, up to 90% of which spend the winter there.
2 Environmental issues
2.1 Loss of Wildlife
3 In history
5 External links
Lake has also been called Pengli Marsh (彭蠡澤)
historically, but they are not the same. Before the Han Dynasty, the
Yangtze followed a more northerly course through what is now Longgan
Lake whilst Pengli Marsh formed the lower reaches of the Gan River.
The area that is now Poyang
Lake was a plain along the Gan River.
Around 400 AD, the
Yangtze River switched to a more southerly course,
Gan River to back up and form
Lake Poyang. The backing up
Gan River drowned
Poyang County and Haihun County, forcing a
mass migration to Wucheng Township in what is now Yongxiu County.
Wucheng thus became one of the great ancient townships of Jiangxi
Province. This migration gave birth to the phrase, "Drowning Haihun
County gives rise to Wucheng Township" (Chinese:
Lake Poyang reached its greatest size during the Tang Dynasty, when
its area reached 6,000 square kilometres
(2,300 sq mi).
Midstream and Downstream Drainage Map of
Yangtze River, Poayang Lake
Loss of Wildlife
There has been a fishing ban in place since 2002.
In 2007 fears were expressed that China's finless porpoise, known
locally as the jiangzhu ("river pig"), a native of the lake along with
other waters such as Dongting Lake, might follow the baiji, the
Yangtze river dolphin, into extinction. Calls have been made for
action to be taken to save the porpoise, of which there are about
1,400 left living, with between 700 and 900 in the Yangtze, with about
another 500 in Poyang and Dongting Lakes. 2007 population levels are
less than half the 1997 levels, and the population is dropping at a
rate of 7.3 per cent per year.
Sand dredging has become a mainstay of local economic development in
the last few years, and is an important source of revenue in the
region that borders Poyang Lake. But at the same time, high-density
dredging projects have been the principal cause of the death of the
local wildlife population. Dredging makes the waters of the lake
muddier, and the porpoises cannot see as far as they once could, and
have to rely on their highly developed sonar systems to avoid
obstacles and look for food. Large ships enter and leave the lake at
the rate of two a minute and such a high density of shipping means the
porpoises have difficulty hearing their food, and also cannot swim
freely from one bank to the other.
Furthermore, construction of Poyang
Lake Dam is expected to cause
devastating effects on the remaining porpoises. 
Due to the
Three Gorges Dam
Three Gorges Dam upriver on the
Yangtze river, Poyang Lake
can shrink and dry up for portions of the year.
In 2016, the lake nearly dried up completely. 200 square kilometers of
land was underwater in October, while the lake is normally 3,500
square kilometers in area when full. In addition to the Three Gorges
Dam, which must store water in its reservoir to be used in the winter,
a drought was also blamed for the shrinkage.
Jiangxi local government has proposed to build the Poyang
to maintain water levels in the lake, building a sluice wall across
the connection between the lake and the
Yangtze river. An
environmental impact assessment is pending. Scientists, as well as
environmental groups such as the World Wide Fund for Nature, have
criticised the proposal, arguing that artificially engineering water
levels in the lake will adversely affect wildlife diversity.
In 1363, the Battle of
Lake Poyang took place there, and it is claimed
to be the largest naval battle in history.
The lake has also been described as the "Chinese Bermuda Triangle".
Many ships have disappeared while sailing in it. On 16 April 1945, an
Imperial Japanese Navy ship, which carried loot from the Japanese
China vanished without a trace with 200 sailors.
^ a b c d e f g h "Poyang Lake". World
Lake Database. International
Lake Environment Committee Foundation. 1999. Retrieved 6 January
^ Ding, Duowen; Tan, Xueqing (2011). "Numerical Simulation of the
Effects of the Urbanization on the Poyang Wetland". In Kenneth W.
Potter, Donald K. Frevert. Watershed Management 2010. American Society
of Civil Engineers. p. 444. ISBN 978-0-7844-1143-8.
People's Daily Online "Spring Fishing Ban on China's Largest
The Guardian "China's largest freshwater lake dries up"
Global Nature Fund: "Detailed Data
^ Kejia Z.. 2007. Poyang
Lake saving the finless porpoise.
Chinadialogue.net. Retrieved on September 28, 2017
^ Chen S.. 2017. Water scheme threatens
Yangtze River porpoises with
extinction, scientist warns. South
China Morning Post. Retrieved on
September 28, 2017
^ Thibault, Harold (2012-01-31). "China's largest freshwater lake
dries up". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved
^ Ives, Mike (29 December 2016). "As China's Largest
Shrinks, a Solution Faces Criticism". New York Times. Retrieved 29
^ "China's Poyang Lake: 'Bermuda Triangle of the East'". The Epoch
Times. October 30, 2010.
Chinadialogue.net: Saving the finless porpoise
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See also: List of dams and reservoirs in China
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