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Weekend Getaways

The 12 Greatest Lakes in Florida

Florida is understood for its stunning seashores. With virtually 66,000 sq. miles of land, it ranks because the twenty second largest state in the USA. Nonetheless, solely 53,000 sq. miles of this large space is land, as about 19% of Florida is water, with lakes encompassing round 3 million acres. Florida has a plethora of lakes, which all function residence to the state’s numerous wildlife. Many of the animals that dwell in Florida are present in these our bodies of water, and most of them are very uncommon. These Florida lakes present residents and folks from different elements of the world with some distinctive issues to do the place they’ll discover the state’s distinctive teams of fish, mammals, and birds. Beneath, we’ll enumerate the 12 greatest lakes in Florida and the fauna present in and across the lakes.

The 12 Greatest Lakes in Florida

12. Lake Monroe

Lake Monroe measures 9,637 acres.

Javier Cruz Acosta/

Situated within the St. Johns River system, Lake Monroe measures 9,637 acres or 39 km2 in floor space. Anglers who need to catch large bass and good panfish come right here on a regular basis because the lake qualifies among the many greatest fishing lakes within the system. Bass fishing on Lake Monroe is passable all yr spherical, however you’ll be able to catch a variety of bass within the spring. There are additionally black crappies, bluegills, and redear sunfish which can be common and develop nicely within the water. There are many large fish within the St. Johns River, and there are additionally a variety of panfish that develop greater there than elsewhere in Florida. 

11. Lake Talquin

Lake Talquin
Constructed for hydroelectric energy technology, Lake Talquin has a floor space of 10,800 acres. Jennings

Lake Talquin is a man-made lake constructed for hydroelectric energy technology. It has a floor space of 10,800 acres (43.7 km2) and is replete with largemouth bass, bream, striped bass, speckled perch, and catfish. The lake is a good place to see wildlife and watch birds. A number of forms of animals can be discovered within the park adjoining to the lake. There are deer, squirrels, turkeys, and typically a bear. In the event you’re a birdwatcher, you’ll seemingly see bald eagles and ospreys above the lake’s waters.

10. East Lake Tohopekaliga

1653854576 536 The 12 Biggest Lakes in Florida - June 10, 2023
East Lake Tohopekaliga is the Tenth largest lake in Florida.

Ebyabe / Artistic Commons – License

Typically referred to as “East Lake Toho,” the East Lake Tohopekaliga is a lake within the southern a part of Orlando that measures virtually 11,968 acres (4,843 ha) in floor space. East Lake Tohopekaliga is a smaller sister to Lake Tohopekaliga and is the Tenth-largest lake in Florida. It is among the hottest lakes in Florida attributable to its clear water and plenty of thrilling actions to discover. The lake can be replete with catfish, black crappie, bluegill, and largemouth bass. 

9. Lake Harris

Lake Harris in Florida Sunset
Lake Harris is a 13,788-acre (56-square-kilometer) lake.

Sunny Sherer/

Situated in Lake County, Florida, Lake Harris sits 31 miles (50 km) northwest of Orlando within the Higher Ocklawaha River Basin, a part of the St. Johns River. It belongs to the seven lakes within the Harris Chain of Lakes, also referred to as the “Ocklawaha Chain of Lakes.” Lake Harris is a 13,788-acre (56-square-kilometer) lake characterised by an irregular form while you take a look at it from the sky. There are a variety of big-mouth bass fishing alternatives accessible in Lake Harris, particularly within the winter when the bass begins to breed. Yearly, bass could be discovered close to the deep water edges of vegetation and the canals. Lake Harris and the canals round it are nice locations to search for black crappie floating within the lake’s open water areas.

8. Crescent Lake

Lake Crescent Florida
The eighth-biggest lake in Florida is Crescent Lake.

FloNight (Sydney Poore) and Russell Poore / Artistic Commons – License

Crescent Lake in Florida spans 15,960 acres (64.6 km2) of water, making it the state’s eighth-largest lake by way of floor dimension. It has a variety of freshwater fish species, making it a good selection for anglers. Crescent Lake affords clear water and a variety of greenery and delightful surroundings. The bald eagle is among the most stunning birds typically noticed within the lake. The saline stage within the lake, which reaches greater than typical saline lakes, helps a various array of fish and marine species, together with blue crab, catfish, and bass, that aren’t usually present in Florida’s waterways. Crescent Lake’s water is good for bluegill fishing, and it’s hottest within the late spring and early summer season when the fish converge for his or her spawn. 

7. Lake Tohopekaliga

Lake Tohopekaliga Florida
Lake Tohopekaliga is Florida’s seventh-largest lake. Hutchins

With 22,700 acres (91.86 km2), Lake Tohopekaliga is Florida’s seventh-largest lake, recognized for its numerous biodiversity. The Everglades snail kite and the whooping crane could be seen within the area, and company can take an airboat journey across the lake to see alligators, turtles, bald eagles, and osprey. The fish species caught within the lake embody walleye, black crappie, noticed bass, largemouth bass, and bluegill. It’s also referred to as Lake Toho, West Lake, or simply Toho, and is the most important lake in Osceola County, Florida. Canal 31 connects it to East Lake Tohopekaliga, the state’s Tenth largest lake.

6. Lake Istokpoga

Lake Istokpoga
Measuring 27,692.9 acres, Lake Istokpoga is the sixth-largest lake in Florida.

Lake Istokpoga is Florida’s sixth-largest lake, measuring 27,692.9 acres (108 km2). Lake Istokpoga, like Lake Okeechobee, is a shallow physique of water with a median depth reaching solely 4 to 10 toes. Regardless of its modest depth, boating remains to be a well-liked exercise on Lake Istokpoga, and the lake’s many gullies are residence to a various ecosystem of fish and different aquatic species. Round Lake Istokpoga, a number of fish camps supply tenting, cabin leases, and fishing journeys. The oblong-shaped lake is round 5 miles lengthy and 10 miles vast. Lake Istokpoga, the coldest of the state’s lakes, is situated within the northern a part of the state.

5. Lake Apopka

Lake Apopka
Protecting over 30,800 acres, Lake Apopka is the fifth-largest lake in Florida.

Lake Apopka, close to Orlando in central Florida, is the fifth-largest lake within the state, masking over 30,800 acres (125 km2). This beforehand famend bass fishing lake was as soon as thought-about among the many most contaminated main lakes within the state. But, this monumental physique of water remains to be excellent for bass fishing. It has attracted worldwide discover as a world-class bass fishing vacation spot. As well as, an enormous variety of fishing occasions are held right here. The pristine water of Lake Apopka makes it well-known. Then again, agricultural operations are happening within the space, ensuing within the improvement of algal blooms. 

4. Lake Kissimmee

Lake Kissimmee
Stretching over Osceola and Polk, Lake Kissimmee covers 34,950 acres. Vilas Boas

Lake Kissimmee is Florida’s fourth-largest lake, masking 34,950 acres (141.43 km2) and stretching over two counties, Osceola and Polk. Bald eagles, white-tailed deer, alligators, ospreys, bobcats, turkeys, and sandhill cranes can all be present in Lake Kissimmee State Park. The lake is among the most alligator-infested globally, harboring 1,935 gators and 170 bull gators. Lake Kissimmee is seated within the heart of Lake Kissimmee State Park, the place a dwell show of the state’s historic “cow hunters” takes place in an 1876-era Florida cow camp. 

3. Lake Seminole

Lake Seminole
Initially constructed for navigation and hydroelectric energy technology, Lake Seminole ranks because the third-largest lake in Florida.

Carolyn Davidson Hicks/

Lake Seminole is a 37,500-acre (152-square-kilometer) water reservoir in Florida. The pristine waters of Lake Seminole, which lies between Georgia and Florida, are its most well-known qualities. Initially, the dam and Lake Seminole had been constructed for navigation and hydroelectric energy technology. It’s additionally top-of-the-line fishing spots within the Panhandle. 1000’s of waterfowl of assorted varieties and alligators, bass, gophers, tortoises, and quite a lot of fish species name it residence. Canoeing and kayaking are two common water sports activities on the lake. Largemouth bass, crappie, chain pickerel, catfish, striped bass, and extra species could be present in Lake Seminole.

2. Lake George

Lake George Florida
The second-biggest lake in Florida is Lake George.

TampAGS, for AGS Media / Artistic Commons – License

Lake George is the second-largest lake in Florida, and it’s recognized for its brackish water, which nourishes each saltwater and freshwater species. It covers 46,000 acres (19,000 ha) of floor space and has a median depth of 8 toes (2.4 m). Although there are lots of distinctive lakes in Florida, Lake George is among the most peculiar. The lake’s backside is comparatively constant, however its excessive saline content material is probably going its most distinguishing trait. The lake is residence to each freshwater and saltwater forms of vegetation and fish, because of feeder streams that pump a variety of salt into it. In actuality, you could bump into a shark in Lake George, although such encounters are unusual. What’s frequent, although, are alligators. There are 2,322 gators in Lake George, with 26 bull gators.

1. Lake Okeechobee

Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee is the largest lake in Florida.

Allison Michael/

Many individuals know that Lake Okeechobee is the state’s largest lake however they’re unaware that it’s also the nation’s second-largest freshwater lake, and the most important lake within the nation’s southeastern area as nicely. The Seminole phrase for “large water” impressed the lake’s title. It covers 467,200 acres (1,891 km2) and has a most depth of 12 toes (3.7 m).

Whereas the lake’s vastness is spectacular, its common depth is simply 12 toes, making it one of many southeastern United States’ shallowest lakes. Lake Okeechobee, typically referred to as Florida’s Inland Sea, is residence to roughly 3,800 completely different arthropods, together with bugs and arachnids, and over 400 distinct nematode species. Nonetheless, due to its vastness and availability of appropriate habitats, the lake is residence to not less than 30,000 alligators.

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