Lakes and Ponds

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An abandoned boat lies stranded during a drawdown at Summersville Lake. Photo courtesy Jesse Thornton.

Lakes and ponds in West Virginia account for a large part of water recreation, though the Mountain State is not naturally endowed with many such isolated bodies of water. All lakes in West Virginia are formed by artificial impoundment, and only one pond, Trout Pond, is naturally formed.

Through the late 1900s large lakes were built as flood-control projects on rivers that emptied into the Ohio and Potomac river. Most large rivers in West Virginia are impounded as lakes at some point along their channels.