Lake Montbel (Fr. Lac de Montbel) is an artificial lake that was filled with water in 1985, following the construction of the Montbel dam. It is located straddling the departments of Ariège and Aude in the French Pyrenees.
Lake Montbel is fed by the waters of the Hers-Vif, brought by a diversion located downstream of the Peyrat, at the departmental limit between Ariège and Aude. This diversion can take a maximum flow of 10 m3 / s from the Hers, while the reserved flow left to the river downstream of the water intake is 1.2 m3 / s.
The water stored in winter and spring (snowmelt) is used to irrigate the Lauragais and the Ariège plain, as well as to support the summer and fall flows of the Hers-Vif and beyond. ‘Ariège and the Garonne (ie the irrigation of around 28,000 hectares).
In summer is is a popular tourist destination in the Pyrenees famous for its fishing, canoeing, pedal boating, sailing, horse riding, cycling.
Hiking is also possible around the lake, 16 kms of routes are available.
GPS coordinates: 42°58′33″N 1°57′31″E