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La Cueva Lake
Somiedo (Central Asturias)
7,5 Ha. km2
Maximum elevation
1.615 m.
Lago La Cueva
  • It is accessed via the mining trail bordering the lake.

  • Plant life

    It has very little macrofauna. There is a crustacean, Gamarus lacustris, and among the vegetation, the Helobdella stagnalis leech, oligochaetes, molluscs (bivalve and gastropod), corixidae and chironomids (Diptera). There are also mayflies, stoneflies, tadpoles (Bufo bufo) and abundant minnow.


    When the dammed volume is exploited for industrial purposes in the autumn, the water level drops to its original level, the moment at which charophytes (Chara and Nitella) appear, divided into concentric bands that follow the variations in level. They also appear on the lake bed, but in this case, they are more uniformly distributed and permanently submerged.

    The transparency of the water and the periodic variation in level seem to reveal a deeper distribution of one of these rooting algae (Chara globularis) or perhaps of both. Ranunculus is scarce and is exposed to desiccation.

Along with Lake Cerveriz and Lake Calabazosa, Lake La Cueva forms what are called the Saliencia Lakes. The basin is completely closed off, so that the view is limited to the immense bowl.

The eastern half of the basin retains its pastoral character, while the north face, accessed by the mining track, is artificially terraced due to hydroelectric works, being used as a spontaneous camping site due to having a spring and a wide surface where vehicles can park. The western half of the basin has been deteriorated by the old mine workings.

The lake collects water from several tributaries; there may also be another inflow below the usual level of the water. It has three gates to regulate the flow; one controls the inflow from Lake Negro and the other two are incorporated into the run-off pipe.

Its waters are usually clear, though sometimes clouded due to the movement of sludge that accumulates on the lake bed, making the colour vary from emerald green to red ochre.

La Cueva Lake