Pine Lake and Stone Lake, Indiana, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Indiana - North -

Also known as:  Pine Lake, Stone Lake, Clear Lake, Lily Lake, Harris Lake, Lower Long Lake

Tucked away in the North Region of Indiana, the small city of LaPorte hosts two recreational lakes, Pine Lake and its neighbor Stone Lake. The area includes four other lesser-known lakes, known as Lily Lake, Lower Long Lake, Clear Lake, and Harris Lake (sometimes called Hennessey Lake). Although close together and all within the City of LaPorte, the lakes are very different. Pine Lake and Stone Lake are extremely clear and sparkling, while the others tend toward more productive weed growth. All of the lakes are accessible via the city’s system of parks.

Pine lake, sometimes referred to as North Pine Lake and South Pine Lake, is the largest and has the most recreational opportunities available to the general public. It is also a favored residential lake, with many beautiful homes built on the peninsula called Holmes Island. Holmes Island nearly splits the lake in two. The largest of the lakes by far, Pine Lake’s 543 surface acres provide plenty of room for waterskiing, sailing and wakeboarding. Two commercial marinas along the shoreline offer rental pontoons, boat repairs, storage and dock space. One of the marinas offers a small beach area with picnic facilities. A number of properties on Pine Lake offer short-term vacation rentals in a wide variety of price ranges. Pine Lake also holds one of the most unusual choices for lodgings in LaPorte, a hotel resort with spa which offers waterfront ‘staterooms’ aboard houseboats tied up at the facility’s docks.

Pine Lake is connected to Stone Lake, Harris Lake and Lily Lake by channels, although the only one still used for boating access is the channel to Stone Lake. A public boat ramp is located on Stone Lake near the inlet to the channel. Due to drought and sedimentation issues, the channel has been impassable at times within recent years. The Parks Department dredges the channel every few years to improve access. Much of Stone Lake’s shoreline is protected within Soldiers Memorial Park. The new Stone Beach is open for public swimming and recreation, complete with a beach house with restrooms and a concession stand. Lifeguards are on duty from 10:30 am to 4 pm daily from Memorial Day to the opening of the school fall session. A playground, picnic area with grills and outdoor showers are also provided. Trails bisect the area. A second beach, usually called Ski Beach, is located at the south end of the 149-acre lake.

Both Pine Lake and Stone Lake offer plenty of fishing to keep anglers happy. Both hold smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, yellow perch, redear sunfish, walleye and a number of less desirable fish such as bullhead and carp. Some bank fishing is available, and the number of boat ramps means nearly everyone can access the water for free or a nominal fee. The crystal clear waters make canoeing and kayaking especially enjoyable. However, the extreme water clarity is due in part to an infestation of invasive zebra mussels in Pine and Stone Lakes which filter out much of the suspended nutrients that sustain the fish.

One of the goals of the LaPorte Area Lake Association is to monitor water quality and conditions conducive to optimum lake health. To that end, they have worked to hand-remove stands of Eurasian milfoil and regularly assess the health of the lakes. The Association has an annual lake clean-up day, and funds fish stocking and weed control. In conjunction with the LaPorte County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Association works to prevent soil erosion and educate property owners and the public about how best to protect their environmental resources.

The hydrology of all six of the LaPorte-area lakes is interesting in that it displays the changes brought about by agricultural and industrial development. All of the lakes lie atop a glacial moraine, and none originally had any natural outlet. Most water comes from precipitation including winter snows, with a limited amounts of run-off from their relatively small watersheds. City storm drains lead to the lakes in several areas and can contribute to an overabundance of nutrients entering the water. In 1880, Stone Lake, Clear Lake, Lily Lake and Lower Long Lake were all one larger body of water. Drainage ditching, levees and the eventual construction of the Lily Siphon Drain, combined with several years of drought reduced water levels until there were four smaller lakes formed from the single larger one.

Those changes are most evident in Lower Long Lake, where a steadily emergent wetland has transformed the former lake into a marsh that can sometimes be traversed on foot by walking on top of plant tubers amid the muck. There is discussion about building a boardwalk across parts of the marsh to encourage nature study. Water levels have been low enough for several years that the Lily Siphon no longer functions. Pine Lake is treated for algae and weed control through the use of an alum treatment plant along the shore. Legal water levels are now somewhat outdated, as the legal level for Stone Lake, Pine Lake, Harris Lake and Lily Lake are set at 796.2 feet above sea level, higher than the average for the system which is currently 795.5 feet. Clear Lake is legally expected to be at 798.2 feet. A few wet years may well change the water levels and lead to other alterations based on local developments and business needs.

Although LaPorte is seldom thought of as a major recreational destination, the lakes are ideally suited to entertain visitors from around the Michiana area. Located 30 miles west of South Bend and 70 miles southeast of Chicago, the LaPorte Lakes are only 20 miles from Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The region is generally rural with many small towns and local farms offering fresh produce, wineries and self-pick blueberry farms. LaPorte itself holds the Hesston Steam Museum with displays of steam-operated machinery and four separate types of steam locomotives offering train rides that will delight young and old alike. Several large chain hotels are located in the area, along with small motels and bed & breakfasts. Less than 30 miles to the southwest, larger Valparaiso offers such attractions as the Memorial Opera House and a larger variety of shopping venues.

East toward Elkhart, the tidy white farm buildings of the Amish offer roadside stands selling unique handcrafted quilts, jellies and baked goods, along with a glimpse of the Amish traditional lifestyle. Country roads are ideal for cycling and sight-seeing, although those driving the area must always be on the look-out for the black, slow and hard-to-see buggies and carriages carrying Amish families.

Pine Lake and Stone Lake are desirable destinations to get away from the big city for a weekend or an entire summer. Whatever your pleasure, be it fishing, water skiing or simply exploring the nature and cycling trails within the LaPorte Parks system, there is something here to satisfy the weary soul. Escape the city and come visit Pine Lake and Stone Lake.

* Statistics listed are for Pine Lake only.

Things to do at Pine Lake and Stone Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Pine Lake and Stone Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Pine Lake and Stone Lake Photo Gallery

    Pine Lake and Stone Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Not Dammed

    Surface Area: 543 acres

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 795 feet

    Average Depth: 8 feet

    Maximum Depth: 71 feet

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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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