Schmiecher See

Useful Information

Location: South of village Schmiechen.
From Ulm B28 16 km west to Blaubeuren, then B492 towards Ehingen. Park car at sports area Schmiechen. The lake is 1 km to the southeast, accessible by foot of bicycle.
(9.735555, 48.350000)
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Lake
Light: n/a
Dimension: Ar=51 ha (max). D=2 m. A=533 m asl.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Georg Wagner (1953): Der Schmiecher See, ein Karstwassersee, Aus der Heimat, Heft 61, 1953 Deutsch - German
(1963): Die Oberflächenformen der mittleren Schwäbischen Alb (östlicher Teil), Jh. Karst- und Höhlenkde, Heft 4, München 1963 Deutsch - German
W. Lillich (1962): Die Geologie der Blätter Mehrstetten und Schelklingen, Arb. Geol.-Pal. Inst. TH Stuttgart, NF 34, 1962 Deutsch - German
G. Maier (1994): Ein Beitrag zur Crustaceen-Fauna des Naturschutzgebietes Schmiecher See, Veröff.f.Naturschutz u. Landschaftspflege Baden-Württemberg, Beiheft 78, 377-396, 1994 Deutsch - German
Dieter Vogelsang, Eckhard Villinger, Eva Borst Hrsg (1987): Karst- und Flußsysteme am Rande der Schwäbischen Alb: elektromagnetische und hydrogeologische Erkundung des Donau-Aach-Karstsystems (Schwäbische Alb), Der Schmiecher See bei Schelklingen, die Blautopfhöhle bei Blaubeuren als Beispiel für die Entwicklung des Karstsystems im schwäbischen Malm
Geologisches Jahrbuch Reihe C, Band C 49, 1987. 103 Seiten, 28 Abbildungen, 2 Tabellen, 8 Tafeln, 24x17cm Deutsch - German
Günter Baisch et al (1995): Der Schmiechener See, Naturkunde eines Naturschutzgebietes auf der Schwäbischen Alb
Beihefte zu den Veröffentlichungen für Naturschutz und Landschaftspflege in Baden-Württemberg, Beiheft 78, Landesanstalt für Umweltschutz Baden - Württemberg, Karlsruhe 1995, 516 Seiten, ISBN: 3-88251-202-4
Deutsch - German Inhaltsverzeichnis
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1973 declaed a Naturschutzgebiet (natural monument).


Typische Ansicht des Schmiecher Sees, eine kleine Wasserfläche umgeben von Schilf und Sumpf.

The Schmiecher See lies in a bend or meander of the Ur-Donautal near Schmiechen. This shallow hollow form is about 15 km² in size, 10m deep, and has no aboveground drainage. The lake has a catchment area of 10.5 km² and an extension of up to 51 ha. The greatest depth is 2 m, the average depth 50 cm. In dry years, Lake Schmiech can dry out completely; it reaches its greatest extent after the snow melts. It therefore does not have a fixed shoreline, but changes its size depending on the course of the year or on precipitation. The maximum extent during floods was given as 95 ha in 1893, but only 75 ha in 1943. This shows that the water level has been steadily decreasing for decades.

Lake Schmiech has been a nature reserve since 1973. In 1982, 73% of it belonged to the German Federation for the Protection of Birds, 3% was state-owned and 24% was privately owned. The lake's nature conservation value is based on its flora and fauna, which are unique in Central Europe due to its special hydrology. Unfortunately, the private owners, farmers who used the adjacent meadows for agriculture, introduced excessive amounts of fertiliser, which affected the flora and fauna and also promoted siltation.

According to Georg Wagner, this is a real karst lake, which represents the freely emerging karst water table. Such a lake is formed in a karst area whenever a drainless hollow form reaches the karst water table.

According to Lillich and Kuhn, on the other hand, it is a hollow form sealed with clay and fed exclusively by surface water. This water seeps away or evaporates over time; the fact that it does not evaporate exclusively is shown by the non-increased salinity. In the east of the nature reserve, the clay layer is partially interrupted, so the water seeps away relatively quickly during floods. With this theory, the question remains as to how the clearly larger maximum expansions of past times are to be evaluated. Either the overflow was overloaded, so that it took some time for the water to seep away, or the overflow has formed or increased since then.

Schmiecher See has been a nature reserve since 1973, although not as a geotope but because of its exceptional flora and fauna. The changing water level favours amphibian life forms in particular. In general, the habitat for moisture-loving plants in the area of the Swabian Alb karst region is extremely limited.