Having toilets, grassed areas, picnic facilities and walking paths around it, Jackadder Lake, in the suburb of Woodlands, is a popular recreational area for local residents. In the 1960s, when Woodlands was first being subdivided, it was referred to as Woodlands Swamp or Woodlands Lake.
The lake lies within the Gnangara Mound, a ground water mound that plays a significant role in the supply of Perth's water. When the water table is higher than the water level in the lakes, groundwater will discharge into the lakes. When the water level in the lakes is higher than the water table, water will be discharged from the lakes to the groundwater system. Jackadder Lake is the first of a series of groundwater lakes that were once link to each other, discharging excess water from one to another, eventually entering the Swan River through Claise Brook in East Perth. The railway line parallel to Wellington Street in the city centre follows the line of that watercourse.
The second lake in the chain is Herdsman Lake, which is the largest in the chain. It is followed by Lake Monger. Only remnants of other lakes in the chain exist today. Herdman Lake was first known as Great Lake, but was recorded as Herdsman Lake by the Surveyor General, J S Roe in 1836. The name is probably descriptive as the area around it provided good grazing and stock were most likely herded in the area.
The lake's current name is derived from Jackadup, the Aboriginal name for the lake and its surrounds. This was later adapted to Jackadder, perhaps after having been misheard by early European settlers and thought to be a reference to snake in the area.
In the 1960s, when the suburb of Woodlands was first being subdivided, it was referred to as Woodlands Swamp and Woodlands Lake, no doubt because it was a more appropriate name for a lake adjoining a new subdivision than one named after a snake. A 1991 subdvision near the lake named Floreat Lakes Estate inferred a new name for it, however Jackadder Lake has never been known as Floreat Lakes.