Salamonie Lake, Indiana, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Indiana - East -

Also known as:  Salamonie Reservoir

Salamonie Lake is a large, unspoiled reservoir spanning the border of both Huntington and Wabash Counties in north central Indiana. The lake is part of a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) site which is also comprised of several state recreation areas (SRA), covering over 13,000 acres. Surrounded by rich countryside, the vast property is full of ponds, marshes, and wetlands teeming with wildlife. Salamonie Lake is an impoundment of the lower portion of the Salamonie River and provides flood control downstream. Also known as Salamonie Reservoir, the lake and surrounding parks offer endless recreational opportunities year round. In the summer, visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, water sports, canoeing, hiking, camping, hunting, and wildlife viewing. Winter months provide all kinds of winter sport options including ice fishing, snowmobiling, and cross country skiing.

Once home to both Miami and Osage Indians, the area has a rich Native American and early pioneer history. The name Salamonie comes from an Indian word, “o-sah-no-mee” which means “yellow paint.” The Native Americans made yellow dye and paint from the bloodroot that grew wild on the shores of the lake and river. The area first saw white settlers in the early 1800’s, and by 1835 both Huntington and Wabash Counties had been officially organized. Through the years, the land around Salamonie Lake has remained largely undeveloped, other than a few small towns. Monument City was a small town nearby which was flooded for the construction of the Salamonie Dam in 1965. Thousands of acres of protected property surround Salamonie Lake today, providing recreation for residents and visitors and habitats for wildlife and plant life.

With excellent fishing opportunities at Salamonie Lake, anglers certainly appreciate the conservation efforts of the DNR. Fishing is very popular, with fishing available along the river below the dam as well as in the lake itself. The lake is well known for its abundant crappie, but other species include bluegill, catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white bass, redear, and walleye. While the tailwater area is fished year round, the spring months of March and April are excellent due to a walleye spawning run. Ice fishing for crappie is also good in the winter, but should be pursued with extreme caution due to water fluctuations making ice conditions very dangerous at times, especially around the edges. Year-round access to the lake is available via the concrete boat ramps and gravel single lane ramps located around the lake. There is also a marina on the southern shores of the lake providing boat rentals, fuel, and overnight or seasonal mooring.

Many miles of shoreline provide a myriad of activities at the various parks and recreation areas around Salamonie Lake. Visitors will find bike trails, beaches, playgrounds, basketball and volleyball courts, as well as horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowmobile and hiking trails, camping areas, and boat launches for speed boats, personal watercraft, canoes and kayaks. The Lost Bridge Recreation Area is one of the larger parks around the lake and provides areas for camping, swimming, trail hiking and picnicking. One of the park’s main attractions is the IDNR Interpretive Center. This state-of-the-art facility features dioramas and interactive displays on lake operations, area wildlife and history for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Extensive nature interpretive programming is offered year round at the center as well as kid’s displays and activities. Bird watching is huge around Salamonie Lake where visitors can see an amazing number of species at any given time. Dramatic waterfowl migrations, eagles, and hawks are commonplace at this avian paradise. An extensive list of bird species found around Salamonie Lake can be found in the internet resources below.

Salamonie Lake is a recreation paradise with activities for the entire family. Accommodations, including hotels and vacation rentals, can be found around the small towns of Wabash and Huntington Counties. Fort Wayne, 30 miles to the northeast, is the largest city in the vicinity and provides airport services. For people looking to relocate to the area, plenty of land is available outside the DNR site around Salamonie Lake. With so much to do and see, a visit to Salamonie Lake is a convenient trip for visitors in the Northern Tourism Region in the beautiful state of Indiana.

Things to do at Salamonie Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Salamonie Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Salamonie Lake Photo Gallery

Salamonie Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 2,655 acres

Shoreline Length: 47 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 755 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 730 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 793 feet

Water Volume: 60,700 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1966

Drainage Area: 553 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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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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