Lake Sakakawea is a reservoir located in the basin of the
Missouri River in Central North Dakota. Named after Sakakawea, a
Shoshone-Hidatsa woman who was essential to the success of the
Lewis and Clark expedition, is the third biggest man-made lake in
The lake is located 80 km from Bismarck, North Dakota. It
averages between two to three miles in width and six miles at
its widest point.
The lake itself is one of the three largest man-made
reservoirs in the nation. It has a
surface area of about 368,000
acres and is 178 miles long, reaching to Williston ND.
of the Missouri River system, the reservoir was created in the
1950s with the completion of Garrison Dam, one of six main-stem
dams built and managed by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers for
flood control, hydroelectric power, navigation and irrigation.
Lake Sakakawea marks the maximum point of glaciation during the
ice age. The lake reservoir was built the same time Garrison Dam
was completed in 1956.
The creation of
this lake displaced the members of Fort Berthold
Indian Reservation who came from Van Hook and Sanish as well as
forcing the creation of "New Town".
An interesting fact is that
a proposed name for "New Town" was
Vanish, a pun on the name of the previous two towns. Also lost
to the lake was Elbowoods. The three towns lost are
commemorated through the names of the campground sections in the
Located on the south shore of Lake Sakakawea, adjacent to
Garrison Dam, Lake Sakakawea State Park offers a wide range of
water based recreational activities and facilities. The park has
a full service marina, including boat rentals, convenience
store, fishing guide services and boat and camper storage.
Maximum water storage: 23.8 million acre feet (29.4 km≥)
Maximum water depth: 180 ft (55 m) at the face of the dam
Normal surface area: 307 000 acres (1 240 km≤)
Normal length: 178 mi (286 km)
Normal shoreline: 1 320 mi (2 120 km)