Morse Reservoir, Indiana, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Indiana - Central -

Also known as:  Morse Lake

Located in central Indiana, Morse Reservoir awaits visitors and those looking to relocate to the good life. The lake is just a short drive from Indianapolis and provides all types of water sport activities like boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming and relaxing at the beach. With two parks on its shores, visitors can enjoy a picnic, sunbathing on the beach, volleyball or frisbee golf. Don’t forget to pack your golf clubs, as Morse Reservoir is a golf lover’s dream, surrounded by golf courses, ranges and country clubs.

Cicero Creek provides the majority of the inflow to Morse Reservoir, along with three other creeks. Also known as Morse Lake, the reservoir was constructed in 1956 as part of an overall plan to provide sufficient water to Indianapolis as well as for flood control purposes. Two other reservoirs were constructed around the same time, for the same purposes. The other two bodies of water are Geist Reservoir and Eagle Creek Reservoir both located nearby. As the city of Indianapolis has grown, the three reservoirs have become critical resources for maintaining surface drinking water supplies. Over the years, the reservoir has become a major recreational area and relocation magnet, with expensive housing developments now encircling the lake.

One big attraction to Morse Reservoir is the fishing. In addition to an abundance of baitfish, the lake has a large amount of cover available which includes a mixture of wood, docks, grass, and rock humps. All this contributes to the excellent largemouth bass fishing often reported. Anglers seeking crappie will find that the wooded areas and submerged logs provide the essential cover needed. Other species include walleye and catfish. To get away from the activity on the lake, fishermen can find plenty of coves and idle zones. A marina located on the east side of the reservoir provides various services including a boat launch. You can also fish off the shores from private and public docks.

For off-lake activities, there are two parks on the shores of Morse Reservoir. Red Bridge Park is located on the northwest shore and offers a public swimming pool, a small playground, a walking trail and boating services including boat dock rentals. On the southeastern banks of the lake near the dam you will find Morse Park and Beach. The 23-acre park is owned by the city of Noblesville and provides all types of family fun. Play volleyball, fish off the docks and sunbathe or swim at the beach. You can also dock your boat at the park and check out the 18-hole disc golf course or turn the kids loose at the playground and have a picnic.

Accommodations can be found in the cities of Noblesville on southern end of Morse Reservoir as well as in Cicero on its northern shores. Vacation rentals are limited to rentals of existing homes lining the lake. Those looking to relocate to the area will find anything from cottages and condominiums to luxurious, million dollar homes encircling the lake. Morse Reservoir is just a short drive from Indianapolis, but a world away from the fast-paced city life. The 40-minute commute to Indianapolis is worth it to many looking to relax every evening on their own private dock to watch the sunset on the charming shores of Morse Reservoir.

Things to do at Morse Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Morse Reservoir

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Walleye

Morse Reservoir Photo Gallery

Morse Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Indianapolis

Surface Area: 1,500 acres

Shoreline Length: 33 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 810 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 800 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 42 feet

Average Depth: 17 feet

Maximum Depth: 43 feet

Water Volume: 25,380 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1956

Water Residence Time: 70 days

Drainage Area: 214 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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