Iowa Great Lakes fun facts

We all love the lakes.

That's what makes Okoboji, Okoboji.

But how much do you know about the lakes themselves? Did you know that Upper Gar Lake is the smallest lake in the Iowa Great Lakes at only 37 acres with an average depth of 3.5 feet? That is the height of the average 6-year-old!

(10 turkey facts we bet you didn't know!)

Here are some more fun comparisons about the Iowa Great Lakes that you can memorize and share with your family and friends when you are enjoying the lakes.

Graphic that says an average person would burn about 1,440 calories walking the 16.8-mile shoreline of East Lake Okoboji

Graphic that says West Lake Okoboji's maximum depth is 136 feet, about the height of a 12-story office building.

Graphic that says 95 football fields would it in Lake Minnewashta's surface area.

Graphic that says George Washington's nose on Mount Rushmore is 21 feet long, which is one foot shorter than East Lake Okoboji's average depth.

Graphic that says Big Spirit Lake is the largest natural lake in Iowa at 5,684 acres

7 Planet Earth Facts

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How lake ice melts

It seems pretty obvious how ice melts, right? It gets warm, so ice changes to its liquid form — water. However, the way that the lakes, including the Iowa Great Lakes, melt may be different than what you would think. Usually in March — the average date for ice out on East Lake Okoboji is Read More »

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What is a watershed?

The augmented reality sandbox in the Dickinson County Nature Center has been a hit since it was installed. The exhibit talks about watersheds and how water moves through the landscape, but do you really understand what a watershed is? Let’s answer some questions about watersheds. What is a watershed? A watershed is an area of Read More »

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Prairie plant roots help water quality

Native prairie plants make wonderful habitat for wildlife like voles, turkeys, rabbits, ground squirrels, hawks and foxes. They provide both habitat and food sources for tiny creatures such as monarch butterflies, bumblebees and milkweed beetles. They are beautiful to look at. However, they are also important in a way that we can’t see. Deep down Read More »

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Fish are fun!

Test your fish knowledge with our fun quiz here!

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Fold a simple origami fish

Origami is one of those crafts that you just feel accomplished when it’s completed. It’s a skill that you can share and show off, and this origami fish is a simple design that even children can do. (Fold a leaping origami frog.) First, take a square sheet of paper — whether it’s origami paper or Read More »

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How is ice created in lakes?

The temperatures drop, and we all wonder, “When will the lakes freeze?” My question today was, how does that actually happen? Of course, ice is created when the water temperature reaches freezing. That is pretty obvious. We’ve all seen ice cubes created in the freezer. Yet, lakes don’t freeze all at once, and they don’t Read More »

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Big Spirit Lake’s perfect south shore

Only two years after the Dickinson County Conservation Board was established, it took on the care of a beautiful recreation area on the south side of Big Spirit Lake. The conservation board worked on an agreement with the State Conservation Commission for 25 years of management of Orleans Beach. The area east of the spillway Read More »

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