What Are Some Lake Okeechobee Facts?

Lake Okeechobee, which is located in Florida, is the largest lake in the southeastern United States. The lake has a total surface area of 730 square miles, making it about one-half the size of Rode Island. Although it is very large, Lake Okeechobee has an average depth of only about 9 feet.

Lake Okeechobee is the second largest lake in the contiguous United States. The name of the lake comes from the Seminole Indian language and means "big water." The major natural tributaries to Lake Okeechobee include Fisheating Creek, Taylor Creek and the Kissimmee River. The lake's main sources of water include rainfall, primary tributaries, canals and excess runoff. Most water loss in the lake is due to evaporation, and the remainder is the result of engineered outflow.

The highest water levels at Lake Okeechobee occur between October and March, and the lowest levels occur from June through August. The water temperature of the lake is typically lowest in January at around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is at its highest in August, when it reaches close to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The bottom of the lake is comprised of a limestone basin and has a maximum depth of 13 feet. The lake can hold 1 trillion gallons of water.