Abstract In this paper a model, called ELLOBO running in STELLA II, was set to describe the plankton system of the Broa reservoir (SP). The three state variables of the model are: phytoplankton, zooplankton, and the fish Astyanax fasciatus. The forcing variables are: temperature, nitrate, phosphorus and solar radiation. The model did not consider the cycling of nutrients inside the reservoir. The results show that: temperature is the principal forcing variable in the phytoplankton dynamic and in the subsequent evolution of the whole system. The zooplankton predation was described by Odum’s equation, and there is a strong random component in zooplankton grazing, which was essential for the model, because zooplankton estimates have high variance. One must collect data in a short space of time (maybe daily) to better explain the zooplankton and phytoplankton variation. Validation was performed using simple statistics (arithmetic mean, standard deviation) and the results show concordance between observed and simulated values. Overhead was used to calibrate some parameters and to validate the model. The highest overhead value (5%) imply in the better accordance between estimated and observed state variables values. We believe this approach in Broa reservoir will provide an useful tool for future research and it could be used comparatively in other continental aquatic ecosystems.