Upper Gar Lake

Upper Gar Lake connects the south bay of East Okoboji Lake to Minnewashta Lake. At 37 acres, Upper Gar is the smallest of the Iowa Great Lakes chain. This lake is basically a shallow channel connecting two larger bodies of water. The average depth of Upper Gar is 3.5 feet, therefore warranting a maximum 5-mph speed limit on the lake. At its Northern end Upper Gar Lake connects to East Lake Okoboji at the Hinshaw Bridge (near Trigg’s Resort) and at the Southern end it connects to Lake Minnewashta at the Sawmill Bridge.

The Gar Lakes were named for their outlet known as Gar Outlet. This was because schools of Gars, a type of fish, were working their way upstream. Originally, there were three lakes known as the Gar lakes, forming a chain about two miles in length, and were called Upper, Middle, and Lower Gar Lakes. Around 1900, the name Middle Gar was changed to “Minnewashta,” which is Dakotah for good or nice.

Contour map: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/fish/maps/ugr30.pdf