Clear Lake, Indiana, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Indiana - North -

Long-settled and long-popular, Clear Lake has been called home to thousands of residents over the past 150 years. Nestled in the northeast corner of Indiana near the borders of Michigan and Ohio, 800-acre Clear Lake is one of a number of natural lakes in this corner of the state. Steuben County is often called Northern Indiana Lakes Country. Clear Lake formed in a depression gouged by the last glacier to cover the region and was attractive to first Native American inhabitants and to European settlers by 1830.

Clear Lake, located five miles east of the Town of Fremont, is irregularly shaped. Its six-mile shoreline attracted seasonal vacationers in the 1800s who arrived mostly via the Fort Wayne, Jackson and Saginaw Railroad. Several large resort hotels, the latest rage in lakeside holidays, were built along the shore. Providing services for these visitors soon developed into a small community of year-round residents, along with residential cottages built by well-to-do part-timers. All types of amusements were offered to entice visitors, including hot air ballooning and scenic excursions on the lake. A sad testament to the popularity of such outings is recorded in the details of a tragic July 4th, 1859 boat capsizing in which 11 people drowned. The age of the automobile brought the middle-class to Clear Lake where they built smaller cottages and enjoyed their leisure time swimming, boating and fishing on the beautiful lake.

Clear Lake evolved into a community by 1900, when there were over 550 cottages along the shoreline. The Clear Lake Association was formed in 1919 and has continued in various incarnations to the present. The Association works to monitor water quality, sponsors various fun activities for residents, and encourages strong community spirit among the many lake residents in cooperation with the Steuben County Lakes Council. The community surrounding the lake was incorporated in 1932, a full 100 years after the first European settlers arrived. Clear Lake gained the appreciation of sailors who often held regattas here, and in 1939 formally created the Clear Lake Yacht Club. The yacht club continues to organize racing events and boating activities for its members. A water ski club practices aquatic tricks and advanced skiing formations, and cottagers enjoy pontooning, canoeing and swimming from the naturally sandy beaches bordering the shore. A small marina on the west shore rents boats and provides repairs.

One public beach is provided, although information on it is scarce. Steuben County owns a small county park on the southeast side of the lake off Lake Drive. The park offers some picnic tables and a concrete boat ramp. Boat motors are permitted, and there is some space for bank fishing along the shore at the launch site. Fishing has always been popular at the lake, with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources regularly stocking walleye, rainbow trout and steelhead trout. The lake also holds yellow perch, black crappie, smallmouth bass, bluegill, largemouth bass and rock bass. Ice fishing is popular, and the yellow perch are an especially attractive winter catch. All Indiana fishing regulations are in effect and the appropriate license must be obtained. Bait shops are located near the lake and can often direct the visiting fisherman to the current hotspots and preferred lures.

There is no camping facility on the Clear Lake shoreline. The nearest camping is at Pokagon State Park a few miles to the west. A few cottage resorts still exist along the lakefront and fill up quickly on summer weekends. Reservations are a must in order to get the choicest cottages. There are no commercial hotels still in existence at Clear Lake, although a few small motels can be found nearby on the state highways. Luckily, numerous private owners rent their homes by the week and often include a boat or canoe. Major hotels and other lodgings can be found along I-69 to the west, while convenience stores, gas stations and small cafes can be located nearby.

Although the lakefront is densely ringed by cottages and larger homes, the lake has only about 400 year-round residents, a number that swells to around 2000 each summer. Located in a quiet section of farmland, Clear Lake is near enough to several attractions that make a ‘summer at the lake’ an attractive prospect. Located about 10 miles north of historic Angola, most services not available in nearby Fremont can be found here. Coldwater, Michigan is less than 20 miles to the north. Michigan’s Amish Country is found around Reading and Camden, less than five miles away and requires cautious driving on area roads to avoid slow-moving buggies. The geology that created Clear Lake extends into both northern Ohio and Southern Michigan in the form of myriad lakes for fishing, boating and lakeside fun. Only 10 miles to the west, the outlet malls near Fremont will please the bargain-hunter. Both Lake James and Pokagon State Park offer water-and nature-based outdoor fun in the same area.

The quiet country roads are ideal for walking and cycling adventures. A local cycling club can provide maps of good routes to bicycle and will enjoy having new two-wheel fans join them on leisurely rides. Although this is primarily farmland, the area still holds many whitetail deer, raccoon, squirrels, foxes and birds of prey. The wetland margins of the lake are a haven for waterfowl as well as a nursery for small fishes, frogs, turtles and other wetland denizens.

Clear Lake is one of a loosely connected chain of lakes in the tri-state area. One of the inlets to Clear lake is a little, non-navigable stream coming from nearby Lake Ann. The outlet drains into Round Lake. A birdseye view of the area would show many lakes more or less in a line up into Michigan and east into Ohio. The lakes are no longer connected, although they likely were in pre-history. As is normal, the lakes are aging in that they are taking in sediment and losing their pristine quality to some extent. In an effort to stave off the inevitable, many researchers have attempted to find ways to maintain the lakes as high-quality bodies of water, including reducing erosion and soil run-off and preventing pollution from entering the watershed. Luckily, efforts are in place and ongoing at Clear Lake and for the present, the lovely lake remains one of Indiana’s prettiest and most desirable.

Real estate is available along Clear lake, in a variety of price ranges. Occasionally a build-able lot will be offered for sale, although most listings are for existing dwellings. This is the ideal location for either a weekend getaway or permanent retirement home. Fish, swim, sail or waterski: Clear Lake has it all.

Things to do at Clear Lake IN

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Water Skiing
  • Picnicking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Clear Lake IN

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Sunfish
  • Trout
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Clear Lake IN Photo Gallery

    Clear Lake IN Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 800 acres

    Shoreline Length: 6 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,037 feet

    Average Depth: 31 feet

    Maximum Depth: 107 feet

    Drainage Area: 7 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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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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