Eagle Lake, Tennessee, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Tennessee - West -

Located in the southern end of the Meeman-Shelby State Park near Memphis, Tennessee, Eagle Lake is a secluded and shallow lake surrounded by a stunning baldcypress forest. Most of the land in the area has been converted to farmland, but Eagle Lake offers a glimpse into the past, showing visitors what the Mississippi River floodplains once looked like before they were drained. Best explored by kayak or canoe, Eagle Lake offers a leisurely tour of some of the last remaining wilderness in the Memphis area.

With an average depth of three feet, Eagle Lake is more of a wetland than a lake. Wetlands used to be common along the Mississippi River, serving as a water filtration system by trapping and transforming water-borne pollutants and improving the water quality of the river. Today most wetlands have been drained and turned into farmland which has had a negative impact on both wildlife and water quality.

As one of the few remaining Mississippi River bayous, Eagle Lake covers approximately 20 acres and has become a sanctuary for a number of mammals, birds, fish and plant life. Great blue herons, bald eagles, egrets, ducks, hawks, and owls can be found living along the shoreline. Muskrat, beaver, river otter, raccoon, bobcat, and fox also make their home around the lake. Although shallow, the murky water is home to several species of fish to include the alligator gar, which can grow up to six feet long, and buffalo fish which are bottom feeding fish that can weigh up to 30 pounds. The lake is also home to a couple types of aquatic salamanders which can grow up to three feet in length.

Eagle Lake is also a haven for a number of unique and endangered plants. The feather foil, which is an underwater plant, is listed by the federal government as rare and endangered. In Eagle Lake, the feather foil is alive and well and increasing every year. The real star of the lake is the baldcypress. Baldcypress trees can live up to 600 years, and grow as high as 150 feet. Known for its protruding “knees,” moss-draped crown, and buttressed trunk, the baldcrpress a very important tree in the wetland ecosystem. Wildlife depend on the tall trees for food and cover and natural cavities in the old growth trees provide homes for owls, wood ducks, and raccoons. Although a common site around swamps and wetlands, the cypress tree is the rarest of the deciduous conifers. Large baldcypress forests are becoming fewer and fewer thanks to the timber industry and development of wetlands.

After a tour of Eagle Lake, paddlers may wish to further explore the Meeman-Shelby State Park. The park covers 13,467 acres, two thirds of which are upland and bottomland forests of oak, cypress, and tupelo. There are two man-make lakes for fishing and boating (with electric motors ) in the uplands area and scattered natural lakes and wetland areas in the bottomlands. Over 20 miles of hiking trails, a five mile long biking trail, and a paved road network provide access throughout the park. Over 200 species of birds can be spotted in the forest along with an occasional deer. Camping areas, cabins, a swimming pool and a nature center can all be found in the park. For those wishing to fish or explore the mighty Mississippi, a boat launch is available and is also a good spot to park and watch birds flying along the river.

For lodging other than camping, there are several small cities within a short drive of Eagle Lake. Real estate and vacation rentals in the form of seasonal cabins, lodges, and resorts can be found in the larger cities of Millington and Woodstock.

A half hour drive south of Eagle Lake sits the city of Memphis, one of the most exciting cities in Tennessee. Home to Graceland, Beale Street, Mud Island River Park, museums, theaters, art galleries, parks and plenty of opportunity for great food, original music, and professional sports explains why this city attracts people from all over the country. Golfers will find several golf courses in the area and for family fun; a visit to the Memphis Zoo or a minor league baseball game at Autozone Park is great way to spend a day. To learn more about the history of Memphis, visitors can take the Downtown Trolley on one of its many guided tours. Horse drawn carriages are usually lined up near Beale Street and offer a great way to take in the city. There are also ‘Ride the Duck’ tours, which is a fun way to cool off on a hot day. Accommodations of all types can also be found in the city.

If you are planning to visit the Memphis area, consider paying a visit to nearby Eagle Lake. Its beautiful baldcypress forest and abundant wildlife will be sure to make a lasting impression.

Things to do at Eagle Lake TN

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Eagle Lake TN

  • Alligator Gar
  • Gar

Eagle Lake TN Photo Gallery

    Eagle Lake TN Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 20 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 217 feet

    Average Depth: 3 feet

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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