Lake Seminole, Florida & Georgia, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Florida - Panhandle West - Georgia - Plantation Trace -

Lake Seminole divides its 37,500 watery acres between Georgia and Florida. The lake is conveniently located about 40 miles northwest of Tallahassee, Florida and 20 miles from Bainbridge, Georgia. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created the reservoir between 1947 and 1957 by damming the Chattahoochee and Flint Rivers. Water from the lake’s Jim Woodruff Dam flows into Florida via the Apalachicola River. Though originally built for navigation and hydroelectric power, Lake Seminole is also a premier vacation destination in northern Florida and southern Georgia and Alabama.

The Jim Woodruff Lock and Dam was the first of three locks and dams constructed by the Corps to provide a waterway from the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in Florida to Columbus, Georgia via the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers, and to Bainbridge, Georgia via the Flint River. The Corps operates Lake Seminole at a relatively constant level of 77.5 feet above sea level for navigation, hydropower production, and recreation. The lake does not provide storage for flood control. About 60 percent of the 376 shoreline miles are designated protected shoreline, about 19 percent for public recreation, and about 20 percent for limited development, including residential.

Lake Seminole is a haven for wildlife, providing a friendly environment all year. Lake Seminole Park, located in Seminole, Florida, is a 250-acre sanctuary for the local fauna. Lazy alligators sun themselves along the lake’s shores, a lone open eye following any movement. Hawks call to each other in the sky, an unforgettable sound to all of its prey. Wintering birds and waterfowl decorate the sky and lake surface. And the shy and environmentally-threatened gopher tortoise, Georgia’s state reptile, also makes its home at the lake, finding some much-needed safety.

Nature hikers and photographers love Lake Seminole Park’s walking trails, as they afford a unique look at flora and fauna you might otherwise not see. Share the 2-mile multi-use trail with bikers, joggers, and rollerbladers as you weave your way through pine flatwoods and identify colorful blossoms and elusive animals. Traverse a one-mile trail, less vigorous than the 2-mile, but no less diverse in its natural offering. Be sure to take your camera on this outing, however, as you are sure to see some truly unique trees, plants, and Florida fauna. The park also provides a boat ramp, grills and picnic tables, playground, and restrooms.

604-acre Seminole State Park in Donalsonville, Georgia provides convenient access to Lake Seminole with 5 boat ramps. Park facilities include a swimming beach, three fishing docks, a 2.2 mile Gopher Tortoise Nature Trail, canoe rentals, picnic shelters, and geocaching opportunities. Choose from a variety of overnight accommodations, including cottages, tent, trailer and RV campsites, and primitive treehouse camping.

Although Lake Seminole covers 37,500 surface acres, it averages only 10 feet in depth. These unique conditions have created an aquatic habitat conducive to lake life. Lake Seminole holds the enviable title of the fifth best bass fishing lake in the country, a fact which attracts thousands of anglers to its shores. Tree stumps, grass beds, and marshy areas dot the lake’s bottom, creating natural homes for the lake’s generous year-round population of hybrid bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, and white bass. Lake Seminole is also known for excellent catfish, crappie, and bluegill. In total, anglers have reeled in over 79 different species of fish from beneath the lake’s surface.

Though the lake is shallow, it is still a watery playground for children and adults alike. Boating is a favorite activity and waterskiers love to jump the wake of their patron powerboats. Jet skiers zip around the lake, at a distinct exploration advantage, their quick speed allowing them to discover many of the lake’s secret coves and hidden treasures. Canoeists and kayakers enjoy a slower pace, investigating the shoreline and watching lake life happen at its own pace.

Lake Seminole is large and beautiful, giving you and your family the opportunity to see and do almost anything your heart desires. So pack your bags, prepare for some fun, and head on down to Lake Seminole for your next family vacation.

Things to do at Lake Seminole

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Lake Seminole

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Lake Seminole Photo Gallery

Lake Seminole Statistics & Helpful Links

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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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