10 Largest man-made lakes in the United States based on Capacity

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The United States has several beautiful natural attractions. But the country is also home to several man-made attractions. In the US, there are more than 53,000 manmade lakes. If we see all the numbers, man-made lakes take up 48% of all the lakes in The US.

Man-made lakes store fresh water and are mainly built to supply water to local people for several reasons. Some people also call man-made lakes reservoirs. These are used for drinking water, irrigation for agriculture, flood control, hydroelectric power, and more. While man-made lakes are often small but there are also several big man-made lakes.

In this article, I will list the largest man-made lakes in the United States in ascending order of their capacity.

Largest Reservoirs in the United States

Here is the list of the largest lakes made by man in the US:

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10. Bull Shoals Lake (5,760,000 Acre-feet capacity)

Bull Shoals Lake is situated in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri. It is 5,760,000 acre feet artificial lake made by men. Bull Shoals Dam was constructed in 1947 on White River and completed in 1951. The lake has a surface area of over 45,000 acres and over 700 miles of shoreline.

It is known for its clear, blue waters and beautiful scenery, with forests, cliffs, and other natural features providing a stunning backdrop. There are over 19 parks near the shore of this lake where you can enjoy everyday activities like water sports, swimming, boating, and fishing. It is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, crappie, and catfish, and is a popular destination for anglers. The lake is also home to a number of marinas and boat rental facilities, making it easy for visitors to enjoy all that the lake has to offer.

In addition to its recreational attractions, Bull Shoals Lake also serves as a source of hydroelectric power for the region. The dam generates electricity for the surrounding area, and the lake is used to regulate water flow in the White River.

Bull Shoals Lake is surrounded by several state parks and other protected areas, including Bull Shoals-White River State Park, Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum State Historic Site, and Harry S. Truman Birthplace State Historic Site. These areas offer a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and camping.

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9. Lake Koocanusa (5,869,200 Acre-feet capacity):

Lake Koocanusa is a man-made lake between British Columbia, Canada, and Montana, United States as a joint project of the U.S. and Canada. This lake was formed for controlling the flood and maximizing the production of electrical energy.

This lake has a capacity of 5,869,200 Acre feet formed by damming of the Kootenai River in 1972. The lake has a surface area of over 90,000 acres and over 400 miles of shoreline. It spreads 48 miles (77 km) in the USA and 42 miles (68 km) in Canada.

Lake Koocanusa is surrounded by several protected areas, including the Kootenay National Park, which offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and camping. The lake is also located near several ski resorts, making it a popular destination for winter sports as well.

Overall, Lake Koocanusa is a beautiful and recreational destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to relax on the water, fish, or explore the outdoors, there is something for you to enjoy.

8. Lake Cumberland (6,089,000 Acre-feet capacity):

Cumberland lake is one of the biggest reservoirs located in Kentucky, USA, and spread in many regions named Clinton, Pulaski, Russell, Wayne, and Laurel. It is an artificial lake that is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other water sports.

The lake was created in the 1950s by the construction of the Wolf Creek Dam, which impounds the Cumberland River. The lake has a capacity of 6,089,000 acre-feet, a surface area of over 50,000 acres, and over 1,200 miles of shoreline.

It is known for its clear, blue waters and beautiful scenery, with forests, cliffs, and other natural features providing a stunning backdrop. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, crappie, and catfish, and is a popular destination for anglers. In addition to its recreational attractions, Lake Cumberland also provides hydroelectric power to the region.

7. Kentucky Lake (6,129,000 Acre-feet capacity)

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Kentucky Lake is a man-made lake in the USA that is located in the western part of Kentucky and extends into Tennessee. It was built on the Tennessee River in the 1940s by the construction of the Kentucky Dam. The lake has a capacity of 6,129,000 acre-feet, a surface area of over 160,000 acres, and over 2,000 miles of shoreline, making it one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States.

Kentucky Lake is known for its beautiful scenery and natural habitat for a variety of fish species including bass, crappie, and catfish. It is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other water sports. Kentucky Lake also serves as a source of hydroelectric power for the nearby region.

6. F.D. Roosevelt Lake (9,562,000 Acre-feet capacity):

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Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) Lake is a large artificial lake located in the north-central region of the United States, in Washington state. It was constructed in the 1930s by the building of the Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River.

The lake has a capacity of 9,562,000 acre-feet, a surface area of over 150,000 acres, and over 500 miles of shoreline. The lake is a source of hydroelectric power for the region and is also a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other water sports.

Read More, Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington DC – A Complete Guide

5. Fort Peck Lake (19,100,000 Acre-feet capacity):

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Fort Peck Lake is located in the northeastern region of Montana, USA. It was constructed in the 1930s on the Missouri River by the construction of the Fort Peck Dam.

If we talk about the capacity of this lake, it has a capacity of 19,100,000 acre-feet. This is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States with a surface area of over 250,000 acres and over 400 miles of shoreline. You will definitely get fascinated by its scenic beauty and recreational attractions. Fort Peck Lake also serves as a source of hydroelectric power for the region.

4. Lake Oahe (23,500,000 Acre-feet capacity):

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Lake Oahe is a large artificial lake located in the north-central region of the United States, in South Dakota and North Dakota. It was built in the 1950s on the Missouri River by the construction of the Oahe Dam.

The lake has a surface area of over 370,000 acres and over 2,200 miles of shoreline, making it one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. It has a capacity of 23,500,000 acre-feet.

3. Lake Sakakawea (24,300,000 acre-feet capacity)

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Lake Sakakawea is an artificial lake built on the Missouri River in the 1950s by the construction of the Garrison Dam. It is located in the north-central region of the United States, in North Dakota.

The lake has a surface area of 382,000 acres and over 1,500 miles of shoreline with a capacity of 24,300,000 acre-feet. This lake is a popular destination for recreation where you can enjoy fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and other outdoor water sports.

2. Lake Powell, Arizona-Utah (26,214,900 Acre-feet capacity):

Largest man-made lakes in the United States
Image source: lakepowellpaddleboards.com

Lake Powell is the second largest man-made lake in the US. It was made on the Colorado River in Utah and Arizona. This lake has a capacity of 27,000,000 acre-feet and a maximum depth of 532 feet. Lake Powell is associated with Glen Canyon Dam. This man-made lake provides water to people living in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and New Mexico. Lake Powell is also a popular tourist destination in the US and attracts over two million tourists a year.

Although Lake Mead is known to be the largest man-made lake in the US, it fell below Lake Powell in terms of volume of water, depth, and surface area several times in recent years.

1. Lake Mead, Nevada (28,945,000 Acre-feet capacity)

Lake Mead, Nevada
Image Source: Wikipedia

Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the United States by capacity and is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other water sports. Lake Mead was constructed between 1931 and 1936 at a cost of $49 million. It was named after Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Elwood Mead.

It has a surface area of over 160,000 acres and over 550 miles of shoreline. The lake has a capacity of 28,255,000 acre-feet. The maximum depth of this lake is 532 feet.

This man-made lake provides water to over 20 million people living in the states of Arizona, Nevada, and California. Due to prolonged drought and increased demand, this largest man-made lake in the US failed to reach its full capacity.

Lake Mead is known for its clear, blue waters and beautiful scenery and it offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and camping. It is a popular destination for boating, with a number of marinas and boat rental facilities available.

The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including largemouth bass, striped bass, and catfish, and a number of protected species, including bighorn sheep and desert tortoises. It is a popular destination for wildlife viewing.

Read More, List of Largest U.S. States

What is the largest manmade lake in the USA?

Lake Mead, Nevada is the largest manmade lake in the USA. It stretches 112 miles long with a total capacity of 28,255,000 acre-feet,

What are the two largest man-made lakes in the United States?

Lake Mead is the largest manmade lake in the United States. Lake Powell is the 2nd largest manmade lake in the US.

What is the only lake in Texas that isn’t man-made?

Texas only has one natural lake which is Caddo Lake in East Texas.

What state has the most man-made lakes in the US?

Oklahoma has the most man-made lakes in the US.

How many man-made lakes are in the US?

As per reports, there are more than 53,000 manmade lakes in the US.

What is the only state with no natural lakes in the US?

Maryland is the only state in the US with no natural lakes.

Is Lake Mead the largest man-made lake in the United States?

Yes. Lake Mead is the largest man-made lake in the United States.

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