Largest lake in every state

The Largest Lake in Every State (Located Entirely in a Single State).

This post was updated to include lake types as well, which revealed something very interesting: 80% of these lakes are reservoirs or dammed natural lakes.

Largest lake in every state

Defining the largest lake in a state is not always straightforward. That’s because the largest can be the lake that covers the greatest surface area, the lake that holds the most water, or both.

Let’s take North Carolina for example. Lake Mattamuskeet, which spreads over 63 square miles, is the largest lake in terms of surface area, followed by Lake Norman, which is 51 square miles in size. However, because Lake Mattamuskeet only averages a depth of 2 feet, it holds much less water: 0.024 cubic miles, compared to Lake Norman’s 0.32 cubic miles, a volume that’s 13 times greater than that Lake Mattamuskeet.

However, since most people associate largest with the greatest area, we’ve decided to create this map of the largest lakes in every U.S. state based on surface area. From the Great Salt Lake in Utah, which is the 6th largest lake in the United States, to Lums Pond in Delaware, these lakes come in all shapes and sizes.

It’s interesting to note that many of these lakes, 62% to be precise, are reservoirs. As a matter of fact, reservoirs and dammed natural lakes account for 80% of all the lakes in the list.

Check out the full list below.

LakeStateSurface Area (sq mi)Lake Type
Great Salt LakeUtah1700Hypersaline
Iliamna LakeAlaska1014Natural, freshwater
Lake OkeechobeeFlorida730Natural, freshwater
Lake PontchartrainLouisiana631Natural, saline
Lake SakakaweaNorth Dakota480Reservoir
Red LakeMinnesota427Natural, freshwater
Fort Peck LakeMontana382Reservoir
Salton SeaCalifornia343Rift lake, saline
Lake WinnebagoWisconsin215Natural, freshwater, dammed
Pyramid LakeNevada188Natural, saline
Sam Rayburn ReservoirTexas179Reservoir
Lake MarionSouth Carolina174Reservoir
Eufaula LakeOklahoma158Reservoir
Lake Francis CaseSouth Dakota158Reservoir
Lake Pend OreilleIdaho148Natural, freshwater, dammed
Yellowstone LakeWyoming136Natural, freshwater
Lake RooseveltWashington125Reservoir
Moosehead LakeMaine 117Natural, freshwater, dammed
Lake GuntersvilleAlabama108Reservoir
Lake CumberlandKentucky102Reservoir
Klamath LakeOregon96Natural, freshwater, dammed
Truman ReservoirMissouri87Reservoir
Oneida LakeNew York80Natural, freshwater, dammed
Lake WinnipesaukeeNew Hampshire71Natural, freshwater, dammed
Lake OuachitaArkansas63Reservoir
Lake MattamuskeetNorth Carolina63Natural, freshwater
Watts Bar LakeTennessee62Reservoir
Lake LanierGeorgia59Reservoir
Elephant Butte LakeNew Mexico57Reservoir
Lake McConaughyNebraska56Reservoir
Grenada LakeMississippi55Reservoir
Lake CarlyleIllinois41Reservoir
Quabbin ReservoirMassachusetts39Reservoir
Theodore Roosevelt LakeArizona34Reservoir
Smith Mountain LakeVirginia32Reservoir
Houghton LakeMichigan31Natural, freshwater, dammed
Lake Red RockIowa25Reservoir
Milford LakeKansas25Reservoir
Grand Lake St. MarysOhio20Reservoir
John Martin ReservoirColorado18Reservoir
Lake MonroeIndiana17Reservoir
Raystown LakePennsylvania13Reservoir
Candlewood LakeConnecticut8.4Reservoir
Deep Creek LakeMaryland6.1Reservoir
Summersville LakeWest Virginia4.35Reservoir
Lake HopatcongNew Jersey4Natural, freshwater, dammed
Lake BomoseenVermont3.75Natural, freshwater, dammed
Ninigret PondRhode Island2.4Natural, lagoon, saline
Wahiawa ReservoirHawaii0.47Reservoir
Lums PondDelaware0.31Reservoir
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Catalin Trif is a nature enthusiast, blogger, and tech enthusiast. He is also addicted to travel and his guitar.


  1. Taco

    Interesting! It would be cool to point out how many of those are *natural* lakes, vs reservoirs too..

  2. Adanny Camacho

    Thanks! This is cool. You should do one for volume too, that would be interesting to know.

  3. elizabeth armstrong

    Catalin….thanx for your time and energy invested in this blog. I was looking up lake titicaca and happened upon you. A friend of mine married a BEAUTIFUL russian girl from Siberia where the largest lake in the world sits.
    Love, love, love the info!!!!!!!
    And, hey……if you are a traveling freak get your butt up to Kashmir, India. EXOTIC just like a magazine. Keep traveling and marveling at the BEAUTY. Dont know where you stand with God, but ALL of this beauty didnt just start from some primordial soup…….there is INTELLECTUAL design at every step of your foot and turn of your head!!!!!!!

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