The lake is home to about 50 varieties of fish and multiple varieties of wild geese, duck, and birds. The lake and side parks also are home to a vast number of lotus, ti plants, and other plants. From harvesting the fauna and flora of the lake, the locals make a living.
While appearing pristine in parts, Baiyangdian Lake is under assault from a variety of sources, most notably industrial waste emptied upstream, the holding back of replenishing waters into reservoirs by upstream communities, and local fish farming. The cleanup of Baiyangdian Lake has become a test for the Chinese government's vocal commitment to environmental causes, but Chinese environmentalists have painted this agenda as little more than empty promises, often pointing to the lake as evidence.
Baiyangdian Lake is a national and international tourist attraction flaunting its peaceful water scenes and vast lotus gardens. Hand-driven and motorized boats are available for small to medium-sized groups; large motorized boats are available for large groups usually accompanied by a tour guide. It is classified as a AAAAA scenic area by the China National Tourism Administration. Islands on the lake host local restaurants that cook with local ingredients and hotels for the overnight tourist.