Angostura Reservoir, South Dakota, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - South Dakota - Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Region -

Also known as:  Angostura Recreation Area, Lake Angostura, Angostura Lake

At the fringes of the unique Black Hills, or Paha Sapa in the Lakota language, is the Angostura Reservoir. Part of the Black Hills and Badlands western region of South Dakota, Angostura Reservoir is surrounded by stunning landscape and the rich history of the Old West. In this region, ripe with legend, the mountains rise up out of the Great Plains, shifting and changing as they roll on and attracting thousands of people to their natural and monumental wonders.

The Angostura Recreation Area alone attracts throngs of visitors to its one-of-a-kind amenities each year. Lake Angostura’s clear waters and sandy beaches offer cool respite in the summer heat. Swimmers and boaters alike will flock to the water eagerly. And anglers will be thrilled at the lake’s excellent fishery. The lake is particularly well-known for walleye, crappie and smallmouth bass with healthy populations of bluegill, largemouth bass, northern pike and perch. Fish cleaning stations and easy access to the lake via boat ramps and fishing docks are conveniences any angler will appreciate. Angostura Lake’s 4,706 surface acres were impounded by a Bureau of Reclamation dam in 1949. The purpose of the lake’s construction was to create a water supply for the irrigation of nearby farm lands.

The dam was built across the Cheyenne River, a major waterway which forms part of the Lakota Nation’s tribal lands in an arid part of South Dakota. Visitors will thus get the experience of pristine beauty but with all the modern conveniences you expect of a recreation area. Take your pick from the many campgrounds or cabins available. Enjoy a day of picnicking with your family. Play horseshoes, volleyball, or golf or watch the children at the playgrounds. Miles of trails invite you to take an invigorating hike, or go biking. During the summer you may find a host of interpretive and educational opportunities held on the grounds and Nature Day Camps offered each month throughout the summer will keep your young ones engaged in the fascination of the lake’s natural environs. Participate in programs that teach you and open your eyes. Learn about the great buffalo in the lives of Native Americans, become a real tracker and learn how pick up clues to track animals, or take a guided evening hike to see what life comes alive at the sun’s setting. Birdwatchers will not be disappointed. Migrating water birds along the eastern edge of the Black Hills stop at the lake, and so do birds that migrate near the Cheyenne River.

Just 10 miles northwest you will find yourself in Hot Springs, considered the “cultural capital of the Black Hills”. Explore the creativity of local artisans or visit world-class art galleries. Experience the vibrancy of South Dakota talent at annual art festivals. In addition to the wholesome fun you will have at Angostura Reservoir, Hot Springs offers a host of other outdoor activities such as winter sports when the seasons change, or hunting for elk, wild turkey, antelope, and deer. And for those who will want to stay forever, Hot Springs has small town statistics but active and energetic residents, combined with friendliness and warmth. Other major sites near Angostura Reservoir will awe you. You will want to visit the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, a phenomenal museum and world’s largest mammoth research facility. Then there is the Wind Cave National Park with its magnificent cave, prairies, and pine forests and the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary with its 11,000 acres of horse range. For history buffs, less than an hour away, is the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Your visit to the Angostura Reservoir, in its backdrop of awe-inspiring landscapes will be like no other. Here, with the combination of healthy sun, caressing breezes, miles and miles of vast, open land, and a beautiful expanse of water lying before you, you will leave here with a special glow and laughter lingering at the top of your throat.

Things to do at Angostura Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Angostura Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Angostura Reservoir Photo Gallery

    Angostura Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Not Known

    Water Level Control: Angostura Irrigation District

    Surface Area: 4,706 acres

    Shoreline Length: 36 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,187 feet

    Average Depth: 29 feet

    Maximum Depth: 75 feet

    Water Volume: 138,761 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1949

    Drainage Area: 9,034 sq. miles

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

    You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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