Fuxian Lake

Fuxian Lake (Chinese: 抚仙湖; pinyin: Fǔxiān Hú) stretches out through Chengjiang, Jiangchuan and Huaning Counties in Yunnan Province, spanning an area of 212 square kilometers. The lake is ranked third-largest in Yunnan, after Dian Lake and Erhai Lake. Also the deepest lake in Yunnan, it is 155 meters deep at its greatest depth. It is also the third-deepest fresh water lake in China, after Tianchi and Kanas Lake.[1]

Fuxian Lake
Fuxian Lake and Luchong Scenic Resort
LocationYunnan Province
Coordinates24°30′08″N 102°53′20″E
Primary inflowsLiangwang River, Dongda River, Jianshan River
Primary outflowsHaikou River
Basin countriesChina
Max. length31.5 km (20 mi)
Max. width11.5 km (7 mi)
Surface area211 km2 (100 sq mi)
Average depth89.6 m (294 ft)
Max. depth155 m (509 ft)
Water volume18,900×10^6 m3 (670×10^9 cu ft)
Surface elevation1,721 m (5,646 ft)
SettlementsChengjiang County


Fuxian Lake has humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cwa) with humid summers and mild dry winters.[2]

Flora and fauna

Fuxian Lake is known for its unique fauna, including many endemic species. However, its relative isolation makes it vulnerable to biological invasions and pollution.[3][4]

Together with other Yunnan lakes (Dian, Qilu, Yangzong, Xingyun, and Yilong), Fuxian is recognized as an ecoregion.[5] Fuxian is one of three major Yunnan lakes with a high number of endemics, the others being Dian (Dianchi) and Erhai.[6] There are 24 native fish species and subspecies in Fuxian Lake, including 11 endemics.[6] The situation for most of these is precarious because they have been negatively impacted by the many introduction of exotic species of fish (26 species), habitat degradation, water pollution, and overfishing.[6][7] The endemic fish are all cyprinids or stone loaches.[6]

Endemic fish in Fuxian Lake
SpeciesIUCN assessmentComment
Poropuntius chonglingchungiCritically endangered[8]Possibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[6]
Cyprinus fuxianensisCritically endangered[9]Possibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[6]
Schizothorax lepidothoraxEndangered[10]Possibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[6]
Sinocyclocheilus tingiEndangered[11]Still survives, but strong decline[11]
Tor yunnanensisEndangered[12]Possibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[12]
Anabarilius grahamiNot assessedStill survives, but nearing extinction[4]
Discogobio longibarbatusNot assessedPossibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[6]
Percocypris reganiNot assessedStill survives.[6] Recent evidence suggests it should be considered a species (Percocypris regani) instead of a subspecies (Percocypris pingi regani)[13]
Triplophysa fuxianensisNot assessedStill survives[6]
Yunnanilus chuiaNot assessedPossibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[6]
Yunnanilus obtusirostrisaNot assessedPossibly extinct (last seen in the 1990s)[6]

The fungus Dyrithiopsis lakefuxianensis, growing on submerged wood, has been collected from Fuxian Lake and described as a newly discovered species, as indicated by its scientific name.[14]

A few native hydrophytes have disappeared from the lake.[6]

The prehistoric Fuxianhuia, significant in discussions of arthropod evolution, is also named after the lake, where it was discovered in 1987.

Lost city

In 2001 it was reported that earthenware and stonework covering an area of approximately 2.4–2.7 square kilometers had been discovered beneath the lake. Carbon dating circa 2007 confirmed an age of 1,750 years, or approximately 257 CE. It is thought that the remains may represent buildings from the ancient Dian Kingdom that slid into the lake during an earthquake.[15][16]

In 2006, CCTV made an additional survey. Carbon dating in 2007 found shells attached to relics to be roughly 1,750 years old. In October 2014 additional research was made on the site by a multidisciplinary team. Portions were mapped and 42 handmade stone artifacts were recovered from a depth of seven meters.[17][18]

Notable sites

There are two major sites west of the lake: a military base at Lijiashan (speculated to be used for submarine testing and other forms of nautical engineering) and a nearby tourism resort.


Panorama of Fuxian Lake taken from mountains to the west.


  1. Sumin, Wang; Hongshen, Dou (1998). Lakes in China. Beijing: Science Press. p. 374. ISBN 7-03-006706-1.
  2. "Fuxian climate: Average Temperatures, weather by month, Fuxian weather averages - Climate-Data.org". en.climate-data.org. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
  3. Cui, Y. D.; Liu, X. Q.; Wang, H. Z. (2008). "Macrozoobenthic community of Fuxian Lake, the deepest lake of southwest China". Limnologica - Ecology and Management of Inland Waters. 38 (2): 116–125. doi:10.1016/j.limno.2007.10.003.
  4. Qin, J.; Xu, J.; Xie, P. (2007). "Diet overlap between the endemic fish Anabarilius grahami (Cyprinidae) and the exotic noodlefish Neosalanx taihuensis (Salangidae) in Lake Fuxian, China". Journal of Freshwater Ecology. 22 (3): 365–370. doi:10.1080/02705060.2007.9664165.
  5. Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: Yunnan Lakes. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  6. Wang, Wang, Li, Du, Yang, Lassoie, and Hassan (2013). Six decades of changes in vascular hydrophyte and fish species in three plateau lakes in Yunnan, China. Biodivers. Conserv. 22: 3197–3221. doi: 10.1007/s10531-013-0579-0
  7. Yang, J.X. and Y.R. Chen, editors (1995). The biology and resource utilization of the fishes of Fuxian Lake, Yunnan. Yunnan Science and Technology Press, Kunming, China. ISBN 9787541607677
  8. Zhao, H. (2011). "Poropuntius chonglingchungi". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T166192A6189259. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T166192A6189259.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  9. Devi, R. & Boguskaya, N. (2011). "Cyprinus fuxianensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  10. World Conservation Monitoring Centre (1996). "Schizothorax lepidothorax". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 1996: e.T19993A9129962. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.1996.RLTS.T19993A9129962.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  11. Cui, K. & Chen, X.-Y. (2011). "Sinocyclocheilus tingi". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T166116A6177364. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T166116A6177364.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  12. Chen, X.-Y. (2011). "Folifer yunnanensis". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2011: e.T21992A9345434. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T21992A9345434.en. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  13. Wang, Yang, and Chen (2013). Phylogeny and Biogeography of Percocypris (Cyprinidae, Teleostei). PLoS ONE 8(6): e61827. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0061827
  14. Jeewon, R.; L. Cai; E. C. Y Liew; K. Q Zhang; K. D Hyde (2003-09-01). "Dyrithiopsis lakefuxianensis gen. et sp. nov. from Fuxian Lake, Yunnan, China, and notes on the taxonomic confusion surrounding Dyrithium". Mycologia. 95 (5): 911–920. doi:10.2307/3762019.
  15. "Ancient Buildings Found in Fuxian Lake". 2001-06-04. Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  16. "Mysterious Fuxian Lake's secrets told". Retrieved 2010-08-20.
  17. "New underwater archeological discoveries made at Fuxian". 23 October 2014.
  18. "云南抚仙湖发现水下史前遗址构件(组图)". 16 October 2014.
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