During the summer, the lake is one of the most popular destinations for Novosibirsk residents, with many yachts and boats dotting the surface, and the beaches teeming with people.
The Karakan Pine Forest is situated on the eastern coast of the reservoir, while most of the towns and villages are situated on the western coast. The larger towns bordering the reservoir are Novosibirsk (Akademgorodok quarter), Kamen-na-Obi and Berdsk. Berdsk was severely impacted by the reservoir's construction, its historical centre having been submerged by the water. Several smaller villages nearby met with the same fate.