• Surface Area: 7,000 Acres
Clinton Lake is a reservoir on the southwestern edge of Lawrence, Kansas. The lake was created by the construction of the Clinton Dam, and the 35 square miles of land and water is maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Construction of the dam and lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1962 (Public Law 87-874), and funds were allocated for the project in 1971. Construction began in 1972, and the dam was completed in 1975. Impoundment began on November 30, 1977, yet the conservation pool was reached in 1980. Filling the reservoir slowly helped create a more hospitable environment for fish by allowing the native grass to remain on most of the upper lake-bed. In April 1981, the lake began multipurpose operations including flood control, water supply, and recreation.
The Wakarusa Valley has had a history of violent floods before the construction of Clinton Lake. Previous floods had devastated the former towns of Belvoir, Bloomington and Sigil numerous times. With the construction of the lake, several towns were demolished including Sigil, Belvoir, Bloomington and Richland in Shawnee County.
Clinton Lake is formed mainly by the Wakarusa River coming east from Shawnee County. The Wakarusa River flows through the Clinton Dam and continues east south of Lawrence to the Kansas River near Eudora. Main tributaries include Deer Creek, Rock Creek, Washington Creek, Dry Creek, Coon Creek and Camp Creek.
Settlements along or near Clinton Lake include Clinton, Stull and Lawrence.