Living and working in the Lake Ozark area is a dream come true for many. But, as all too often happens, we get used to the beauty, entertainment, nature surrounding us and it just becomes, well, normal. Reflecting on what makes Lake Ozark special can help you reconnect to home and help you entice friends and family to visit. Here are three interesting facts about Lake Ozark.
At one time Lake Ozark was the largest man-made lake in the U.S.
In Missouri, we like to keep things interesting, so we go big or we go home. Lake Ozark State Park is the largest state park in Missouri covering 17,741 acres. The lake encompasses a massive 54,000 acres and over 1,150 miles of shoreline. It should come as no surprise that at one time the lake was the largest man-made lake in the United States. Construction on Bagnell Dam began in August of 1929 with over 20,000 workers having access to a job in their community during the great depression. It was completed and began to fill with water in February of 1931 by the Union Electric Co. of St. Louis. The lake was open for travel by May 1931. We’ve since lost the title of the largest man-made lake in the U.S. to Lake Mead, and when it comes to man-made lakes in Missouri, we come in second to Truman Lake.
A Porsche was discovered at the bottom of Lake Ozark
That’s right, a Porsche was parked at the bottom of Lake Ozark and discovered in 2002. But, wait, it gets a bit more interesting. That Porsche was found to belong to actor Nicholas Cage. Your imagination must be going wild right now. The Southeast Missourian reports, “Missouri Water Patrol divers found the 1989 Porsche Sportster Thursday in 12 feet of water after receiving an anonymous tip. The car had just 100 miles on it and was a collector's item, authorities said.” From Porsches to jellyfish to piranhas there are some interesting things happening in Lake Ozark.
The Spoonbill is the largest fish in Lake Ozark
This type of fish is also known as an American Paddlefish and they can look pretty intimidating with their shark-like body. Never fear. These basal-ray finned fish prefer to swim in the darker waters of the lake while feeding on plankton and rarely interfere with those enjoying a dip in the lake. American paddlefish have been reduced to the Mississippi and Missouri River tributaries and Mobile Bay drainage basin. They are currently found in twenty-two states in the U.S., and those populations are protected under state, federal and international laws. Caught in 1998, the Willmore Lodge in Lake Ozark currently displays the Lake of the Ozarks record Spoonbill catch. Weighing in at 135lbs, and 6’ 4” this interesting prehistoric-looking fish is something everyone should check out.
Whether you are visiting the Lake of the Ozark area or you call the Magic Dragon home, we hope this interesting bit of information has you thinking of all the reasons you love spending time in the Osage area. You never know who’s Porsche you’ll find around town, or in the lake.