In a past column I featured Indiana’s natural lakes. Most of these are in northern Indiana and are quite interesting. Man-made lakes, in contrast, are found all over our state and are also of great interest. They range from reservoirs that were built for both flood control and recreation to lakes that provide water for power plants.
Flood control and recreation reservoirs are usually large in size and can hold a lot of water to help control downstream flooding. Those in southern Indiana with acreage at its summer pool size are: Monroe, 10,750 acres; Patoka, 8,880 acres; Brookville, 5,260 acres; Cecil M. Harden, 2,060 acres; and Cagle’s Mill at a little over 1,000 acres.
In northern Hoosierland one finds the Mississinewa, 3,280 acres; Salamonie, 1,260 acres; and the 800-acre Huntington Lake, also known as the J. Edward Roush Lake Project.
Another small state reservoir that does act for some flood control, but is basically a fishing and recreation area, is Hardy Lake. It is located in both Scott and Jefferson counties.
Large lakes on state fish and wildlife areas are Dogwood, a 1,400-acre fine fishing site in Daviess County, and the 1,000-acre J.C. Murphy Lake in the Willow Slough Fish and Wildlife Area in northwestern Indiana.
Indianapolis has three large man-made lakes to provide drinking water for our largest city. They are Eagle Creek, 1,350 acres east on Indy, Morse, north of the city, and Geist, the site of many large homes east of Indianapolis.
Other Hoosier cities that have reservoirs are Muncie with Lake Prairie Creek and Richmond’s Middle Fork Lake. Patoka Lake, in addition to being a flood control and recreation area, also provides water to a number of southern Indiana residents.
Bloomington has Lake Lemmon and Griffy to help supply water, Sullivan has Lake Sullivan, Kokomo has the Kokomo Reservoir, while Fort Wayne uses both the Ceadville and Hurstown reservoirs to help meet its water needs.
Lakes constructed to help in the generation of power are lakes Freeman and Shafer on the Tippecanoe River at Monticello, Turtle Creek Lake near Merom in Sullivan County, and the massive lake at the Duke Power Plant in Gibson County.
Several of our state parks have man-made lakes, both rather large and small, to provide recreation activities. Versailles has pretty Lake Versailles, Lincoln has a lake, Shakamak has several, while Summitt has a large lake. Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge has the large Moss Lake, as well as several other lakes. Crane Naval Weapons Support Center in Martin County has the large Lake Greenwood.
Several lakes were built to act as a center point for large household development sites. Among these are Waveland, Rockville, Holliday and Glen Flint in west central Indiana, and Hidden Valley and County Squire in eastern Hoosierland. East of Columbus are Grandview Harrison, Luirthern and several other smaller lakes.
Add to all these are the farm ponds and other small lakes built all across Indiana, and it is easy to see that indeed we do have a large number of man-made lakes both large and small that can provide many hours of quality outdoor activities for family enjoyment.
We have one of these little ponds in our backyard. This year I have spent countless hours enjoying nature in all its various facets. To see fish, turtles, birds, insects in a natural setting is one of the great joys of life.
Take it from me, life is so fleeting. Please stop and look around. God has given us a wonderful gift in his creation. Take advantage of this and help to save these treasures.