West Lake Okoboji

West Lake Okoboji is the deepest of a chain of five connecting lakes, which is considered part of Iowa’s Great Lakes. According to information obtained from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, West Lake Okoboji is comprised of 3,847 surface acres of water with an average depth of 38 feet and maximum depth of 136 feet. There are 19.8 miles of shoreline around West Lake and the natural drainage basin is fed by 13,668 acres of land or approximately 22 square miles. Three State Parks are located along the shores of West Lake, including Pillsbury Point, Gull Point, and Pike’s Point . West Lake Okoboji  is designated as a ‘high quality recreational water,’ meaning the conditions of its waters must support “direct, prolonged and full body contact recreation such as swimming and water skiing”. More than 47 species of fish can be found in West Lake, with approximately 11 species of popular sport fish.

West Lake was called “Minnetonka” by the Sioux Indians and translated into “Great Waters.” The first settlers decided to use a version of the name “Okoboozhy” for both lakes known today as the “Okoboji” lakes. West Okoboji is the second largest in the chain covering 3, 850 acres. It is a glacial lake created by the Wisconsin Glacier 14,000 years ago and has a maximum depth of 136 feet, which makes it the deepest natural lake in Iowa. Subterranean springs help provide the cool, clear, blue water of Iowa’s most popular lake. West Okoboji is about seven miles long and up to two miles in width. Boats can travel to Lake East Okoboji under the Highway US 71 Bridge and a walking bridge.

West Okoboji Boaters Map: http://www.watersafetycouncil.org/boatinginfo/West_Okoboji_Boaters_Map.pdf

Contour Map: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Portals/idnr/uploads/fish/maps/wok30.pdf

Take a virtual boat ride of West Lake Okoboji using Google Street View.