Okanagan Lake, also known as
Lake Okanagan, is a large, deep lake in the Okanagan Valley of
lake is 135 km long, between 4 and 5 km wide, and has a surface
area of 351 km². The lake's maximum depth is 232 meters near Grant
Island (also called "Whiskey Island" or "Seagull Island" by
locals). there is one other island known as Rattlesnake island as
well, much farther south by Squally Point. Some areas of the lake
have up to 750 meters of glacial and post-glacial sediment fill
which were deposited during the Pleistocene Epoch
. The lake is composed of
three basins, a larger North basin, a central or mid basin, and a
Southern basin. The lake is drained by the Okanagan River, which exits the lake's south
end in Penticton, after flowing over a small dam.
features of the Okanagan Valley
include terraces which were formed due to the periodic lowering of
the lake's predecessor, glacial Lake
. These terraces are now used extensively for
agriculture such as fruit cultivation.
bordering the lake include Vernon in the north, Penticton in the south, Kelowna and West Kelowna in the centre, as well as the smaller
municipalities of Lake Country (north of Kelowna), Peachland (south of West Kelowna), and Summerland (north-west of Penticton). Various lake features
include Rattlesnake Island (a small island east of Peachland), Squally Point (a popular cliff-diving area) & Fintry Delta on the west side. The five-lane William
R. Bennett Bridge, a floating bridge
with a high boat passage arch connects Kelowna to the
district of West
Kelowna and the community of Westbank. This bridge replaced the three-lane floating
Bridge on May 30, 2008 which had a lift span for passage of large
Okanagan Lake winds between Kelowna
(foreground) and Westbank (background).
Many parks and beaches are found along the shores of the lake,
which make boating and swimming very popular activities. The lake
is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout
. It is said by some to be home to its own sea
monster - a giant serpent-like creature named Ogopogo.