Lake Istokpoga

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Lake Istokpoga
Location Highlands County, Florida
Coordinates 27°22′N 81°17′W / 27.367°N 81.283°W / 27.367; -81.283Coordinates: 27°22′N 81°17′W / 27.367°N 81.283°W / 27.367; -81.283
Type Fishing
Primary inflows Arbuckle Creek, Josephine Creek
Primary outflows C41 canal
Basin countries United States
Max. length 10 miles (16 km)
Max. width 5 miles (8 km)
Surface area 28,000 acres (113 km2)
Average depth 4 feet (1.2 m)
Max. depth 10 feet (3.0 m)
Surface elevation 37.5–39.5 ft (11.4–12.0 m)
Islands Big, Bumble Bee
Settlements Lorida, Sebring, Lake Placid

Lake Istokpoga is a 28,000-acre (110 km2) freshwater lake in Highlands County, Florida. The oblong-shaped lake is 5 miles (8.0 km) wide by 10 miles (16 km) long. Despite its area, it is very shallow, with an average depth of only 4 feet (1.2 m). Maximum depth is 10 feet (3.0 m). As a result, boaters must be cautious to not become stranded in muck near the shore line. Bass and Pontoon boats are the most commonly used watercraft, with some use of air boats. With such shallowness, this lake is extremely dangerous for boaters during windstorms, as the waves get quite high.

Boating and fishing are popular activities at this lake. There are at least half a dozen fish camps on Lake Istokpoga. Several of these fish camps book visitors for fishing trips and they also have cabins and hook up for campers, for overnight stays. The amenities on the lake are 5 public boat ramps and 2 public parks, one on the lake's north side and the other on the south east corner. Most of the shoreline is undeveloped and there are 2 islands, Big and Bumble Bee, in the lake's interior. Some residential properties and private boat docks and beaches dot areas on the shore.

Local legend is that the word Istokpoga is of the Seminole language meaning "our people died there" because a group of Seminole Indians attempted to cross the lake and were bogged in the mire and swallowed by whirlpools.

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