Lake Okeechobee is Florida’s largest lake and is also the second largest freshwater lake in the United States. The lake, located roughly in the center of southern Florida, is currently 35 miles east-west and 37 miles north-south, and is a maximum of 15.5 feet deep. These dimensions fluctuate from season to season; however, they are currently controlled by man-made structures. The levees and dikes, which control the inflow and outflow of water to the lake, suggest that few geomorphic processes are occurring in modern times.
Prior to the 1930s, the lake received input via the Kissimmee River from the chain of lakes region located near Gainesville, Florida, from direct precipitation, and from other tributaries such as Taylor Creek and Fisheating Creek. During times of high lake stage, the water overflowed the southern and eastern peat rim and flowed into the Everglades and the Caloosahatchee River. During extremely dry seasons, there was little output of water from the lake, except by evapotranspiration.