Lake Thompson (South Dakota)

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Lake Thompson
Location Kingsbury County, South Dakota
Coordinates 44°17′06″N 97°27′43″W / 44.28500°N 97.46194°W / 44.28500; -97.46194Coordinates: 44°17′06″N 97°27′43″W / 44.28500°N 97.46194°W / 44.28500; -97.46194
Basin countries United States
Surface area 12,455 acres (50.40 km2)[1]
Max. depth 26 ft (7.9 m)[1]
Shore length1 44.6 miles (71.8 km)[1]
Surface elevation

1,667 feet (508 m)

Designated: 1975
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Thompson is a lake in Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. With an area of 12,455 acres (50.40 km2),[1] it is one of the largest natural lakes in South Dakota. The maximum depth of the lake is 26 ft (7.9 m), and the shoreline has a length of 44.6 miles (71.8 km).[1] The lake is located in east-central South Dakota, on the Coteau des Prairies and is within the watershed of the Vermillion River.

Lake Thompson's size is highly variable. It was completely dry during the 1930s.[2] By the early 1990s, it had grown to cover (at times) 20,000 acres (81 km2), becoming the largest natural lake in the state.[3]

The lake is the location of a state recreation area managed by the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish, and Parks which includes camping facilities.[2] Several boat launches are also located on the lake.[2] A popular destination for anglers, game fish in the lake include walleye, northern pike, yellow perch and sunfish.[2] Common carp and black bullheads are also present.[1]

The area is an important habitat for fish and waterfowl, and Lake Thompson has been named a National Natural Landmark.[2]

Lake Thompson is near De Smet, one of the residences of author Laura Ingalls Wilder, and appears in several of her novels as "Twin Lakes".[2]

See also[edit]