Description - To supply Manatee and Sarasota Counties with drinking water, the Manatee River was dammed creating a 2,500-acre reservoir. Fringed with bald cypress draped in Spanish moss, the lake averages only 13 feet deep; however, deeper holes provide good habitat for a variety of fish species. Boaters need to be aware that the reservoir has a limit of 20 horsepower motors and less.
Copyright: Florida Division of Recreation & Parks
Lake Manatee State Recreation Area
- Known for good fishing, Lake Manatee State Recreation Area offers three miles of shoreline on the 2,500-acre impounded part of the Manatee River. Over 550 acres of park land give visitors an area for camping, picnicking, boat launching and trail use. A campground offers 60 tent and RV sites with several accommodating handicapped individuals. Modern restroom facilities, boat launch and picnic areas attract outdoor enthusiasts from the Sarasota and Tampa area.
Recreation - Fishing, camping and picnicking are the main recreations enjoyed at Lake Manatee State Recreation Area. Five miles of multi-use trails offer interior and lakeside hikes. Mountain bikes and equestrians welcome. Lake swimming is permitted. Canoeists find the placid waters a relaxing escape from the nearby suburban areas.
Climate - Winters in west central Florida are normally mild with occasional temperatures dipping into the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. However, averages range between 52 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (11 - 18 Celsius). Summers are normally hot and muggy with temperatures and humidity usually exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Averages range between 81 and 83 degrees (27 - 29 Celsius). Precipitation for the central west area ranges between 52 and 56 inches per year.
The Central West Travel Region falls along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico shores with boundaries slightly above Crystal River running south to Englewood. Areas encompass cities as far west as Arcadia encircling major travel routes such as Interstate 75 and US 4. Lying the heart of this region are the urban destinations of Tampa and St. Petersburg.