Lake Waveland, Indiana, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Indiana - West -

Nestled in the southwest corner of Montgomery County sits Lake Waveland, one of the county’s greatest assets. The 360-acre lake is bordered by 248-acre Lake Waveland Park, providing more than 600 recreational acres. Lake Waveland exists because a local group of property owners and interested environmentalists thought the area needed a lake. The Little Raccoon Creek Conservancy District was formed under a state law that allows local groups to act legally to assist with such issues as erosion, flood control, recreation and water supply. The Conservancy District owns other dams and lakes in this area of Indiana. Although Indiana has a large number of streams and creeks that are prone to flooding, the state has few lakes. In 1970 the Conservancy created one of the best bass fishing lakes in the state, plus a popular campground and park.

Lake Waveland has no restrictions on boating, so lakelubbers here are free to enjoy power boating, water skiing, wakeboarding, personal water craft, sailing and pontooning. The irregularly-shaped shoreline is ideal for canoeing, kayaking and enjoying nature. A private development along the northwest shore holds the only lakefront homes. The rest of the lake is mostly wooded and attracts a number of species of birds and waterfowl. Lake Waveland Park provides a swimming beach and a boat ramp along with campsites that receive a steady stream of visitors over the summer season. The park has over 150 campsites ranging from modern to primitive and offers four rental cabins, with more planned for the future. Locals come here to swim and play as do visitors from far afield. The park offers playground equipment, tennis courts, a waterslide, basketball court, general store, bath house and boat rental. The lake has also attracted other outdoor-focused activities; an ATV facility with 200 miles of trails is being refurbished by the park and is expected to re-open soon.

Fishing is where Lake Waveland really shines. The lake holds largemouth bass, bluegill, muskie, black crappie, redear sunfish and channel catfish, with largemouth bass the stars of the show. A number of fishing tournaments are held here each year. Anglers say Lake Waveland has great structure, with flats, deep banks, and fallen trees along the shoreline. There are several areas provided for fishing from shore. Indiana Fish and Wildlife introduced muskie to the lake, stocks game fish based on careful monitoring, and has worked to reduce an overabundance of gizzard shad. The opportunity to catch either panfish or the larger trophy bass keeps the boat ramp parking lot full much of the year, with tournaments scheduled most weekends. Each year the park board sponsors a kids’ fishing day to encourage youngsters to learn about the sport.

A number of events are held at the park each summer, including car shows, ATV races, and fireworks. Lake Waveland Park personnel have a number of proposed improvements they hope to make, including a possible ‘frisbee golf’ course. A nominal admission fee is charged to enter the park, with slightly higher fees paid by out-of-state visitors. Only 50 miles from Indianapolis, Lake Waveland is becoming more popular each year. The lake is also located close to two Indiana State Parks. Shades State Park is day-use only, although its Pine Hills Nature Preserve is popular among nature observers. Turkey Run State Park offers camping, but neither state park offers a lake. So, visitors to those parks naturally gravitate to Lake Wavelend to make their vacation complete.

The nearby town of Waveland is small but offers most camping supplies if they can’t be purchased at the park’s general store. Waveland is a picturesque little town with many Victorian homes along its tree-lined streets. Its name is unusual but has a reasonable explanation: the area was first settled by former residents of Kentucky. The founding fathers named it Waveland in honor of “a Kentucky gentleman’s home”. Waveland is only about 15 miles from Crawfordsville, the county seat of Montgomery County.

Historic Crawfordsville holds a number of historical sites. The General Lew Wallace Study & Museum is the preserved hideaway of the Civil War officer and author of the novel Ben-Hur. The Ropkey Armor Museum offers a wide variety of military armaments, a favorite with old soldiers and young boys everywhere. And the fascinating Rotary Jail Museum features one of only nine such jails ever built. This unique plan placed the pie-shaped cells inside a round ‘cage’ with only one door. To open a cell, the entire round cellblock was turned so that the proper cell had an exit. Built in the late 1800s, this jail was in use until 1970. The same building houses a cultural center featuring local arts. Several historic homes are also available for touring via a walking tour in Crawfordsville.

Lake Waveland is an example of inter-agency cooperation to produce a recreational facility and lake. The Little Raccoon Creek Conservancy District owns the lake; the Waveland Park Board (City of Waveland) administers the 248-acre park; and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife takes care of the fishery. Visitors not inclined to camping can find local lodgings in the form of small motels and occasional private rentals. Real estate is sometime available on the lake itself but is extremely limited. Other real estate in the area is much easier to find. For the avid fisherman, vacationing or even living near Lake Waveland is a dream come true. So pack up the kids and the bass boat and come on down!

Things to do at Lake Waveland

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Lake Waveland

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Gizzard Shad
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Pike
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Shad
  • Sunfish

Lake Waveland Photo Gallery

Lake Waveland Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Little Raccoon Creek Conservancy District

Surface Area: 358 acres

Shoreline Length: 6 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 713 feet

Maximum Depth: 27 feet

Water Volume: 3,677 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1970

Drainage Area: 11 sq. miles

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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