Gibson Lake, Indiana, USA

Also known as:  Broad Pond

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Gibson Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Gibson Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Gibson Lake

Lake Locations: USA - US Midwest Region - Indiana - South Indiana -

Gibson Lake, located in southwestern Indiana just north of Interstate 64, holds the record for the largest lake built completely above ground in the state. It covers 3,500 acres and acts as a cooling pond for Duke Energy Indiana’s Gibson Generating Station, a coal-burning power plant. Four of its six sides are levees built out of rock, and it has a two-mile break wall built into the lake. Gibson Lake was completed in 1972, and has been in full operation since. The constant inflow of cool water from the McCarthy Canal and the Patoka River to the Generating Station makes the residence time in Lake Gibson only 2 weeks. Due to the outflows of hot water from the main plant’s boilers, the lake never gets colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes Gibson Lake an ideal home for thousands of ducks and geese in the winter months when other lakes are frozen over. Gibson Lake is located within 6000 acres of reservoirs, ponds, and a 160-acre area of natural wetlands known as the Gibson Lake Wildlife Habitat Area.

Gibson Lake began allowing anglers on the lake in 1978, and the lake became a popular site to fish for bass, catfish, bluegill and carp. Fishing was suspended in 2007 while selenium levels are investigated. Despite being closed to recreational activities, Gibson Lake still welcomes visitors for bird watching. Regardless of the season, visitors will be delighted by the extensive variety of birds, including the American White Pelican, Brown Pelican, Pacific and Red-Throated Loon, Snowy Egret, Peregrine Falcon, Wild Turkeys, Golden Eagles, and Snowy Owls. The lake is a stopover for migrating shorebirds and waterfowl during their fall flight south. Gulls, duck, and geese make Gibson Lake their winter home. Winter also brings Bald Eagles to Gibson Lake. They nest in the area, so visitors driving around the levee may encounter these amazing birds.

Duke Energy employs personnel specifically to work with the Department of Natural Resources to protect endangered species found on their property. Among the 55+ species of birds found at Gibson Lake, the Least Tern is an endangered species, and the lake is one of only two locations east of the Mississippi River where they have been found nesting. Because of their need for protection, visitors are asked to be extremely careful not to disturb them. Areas of the lake are closed to the public during their breeding season. The Least Tern can usually be spotted around Gibson Lake between mid-May and early September.

Gibson Lake’s diverse bird population makes it an ideal destination for any bird lover. It is also a great spot for parents to take children wanting to learn about birds native to this area. Because of Gibson Lake’s warm water temperature, it is a year-round destination.

Things to Do at Gibson Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding

Fish Species Found at Gibson Lake

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Sunfish

Find Places to Stay at Gibson Lake

If you’re considering a Gibson Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Gibson Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Gibson Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Gibson Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Duke Energy Gibson Generating Station

Surface Area: 3,490 acres

Shoreline Length: 6 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 350 feet

Average Depth: 20 feet

Maximum Depth: 24 feet

Water Volume: 69,800 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1972

Water Residence Time: 2 weeks

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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