Inaccessible without advance preparation and experience, visitors to the Red Lake in Imotski can only admire the spectacle from the upper edges. The lake is referred to as ‘red’ because of the red clay colour of the rock face which surrounds the water below. There’s a challenge traditionally tasked to those brought here – see if you can throw a stone from the brim into the water. It’s harder than it looks. The walls are steep and wide, the water a good long way below. Except for now. Like the water in all 11 Imotski lakes, the water level is currently at the highest point is has been for as long as anyone can remember. The height of the water in the Red lake alone exceeds 309 meters.
Imotski’s Red Lake © Tieum512
Heavy rainfall over recent months is the cause for the high and rising water levels in the 11 Imotski Lakes. In December 2020, about 700 litres of rain per square metre was recorded in the area, practically filling all 11 Imotski lakes, as well as the river Vrljika.
High water levels are recorded in Galipovac Lake, Lokvičićko Lake (or Mamić Lake), Prološki lake and the Knezović lake. The water level in the Vrljica River is still high. Along with the picturesque Green Lake, named after the beautiful, icy turquoise green appearance of its water, the 11 Imotski lakes are an appealing topography for hikers, walkers and climbers to explore. Accurate data on the height of the water in Imotski’s Blue and Red Lakes was recorded within the past few days.
Photo of Lokvičićka jezera, one of the 11 Imotski lakes, taken by Josipa Rimac Vlajčić and a team from the Imotski Mountaineering Society during a mid-January expedition © HPD Imotski Facebook
In the Blue lake – the one closest to Imotski centre and a popular summertime swimming and recreational site – the current water level is at 91.5 metres. It is still rising. Whether the water level will reach the record 102 metres recorded in 2012 will depend on rainfall within the region over coming days. Rains do not necessarily have to fall in Imotski to fill this or some of the other 11 Imotski lakes – they are fed by underground channels which flow from Bosnia.
Reporting on the rising water in Slobodna Dalmacija, local photographer and writer Braco Cosic informed that Imotski-based surveyor Ante Škeva had measured the current water level of Red Lake as a quite considerable 309 metres on Tuesday. If there was ever a time to take on the challenge of hitting its water surface with a stone, it is surely now.