About Lake Champlain and the Lake Champlain Basin

Lake Champlain

Where is Lake Champlain?

Lake Champlain (French: lac Champlain) is a natural freshwater lake bordered by the states of Vermont and New York and in the north by the Canadian province of Quebec. The New York portion of the Champlain Valley includes the eastern portions of Clinton and Essex Counties. Most of this area is part of the Adirondack Park. The eastern shore of Lake Champlain is composed of Franklin, Chittenden and Addison Counties of Vermont, and Vermont’s Grand Isle County is completely surrounded by Lake Champlain. The Quebec portion (the regional county municipalities of Le Haut-Richelieu and Brome–Missisquoi) forms the northern boundary of Lake Champlain.


Facts About Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain flows north from Whitehall, New York between New York and Vermont, and across the U.S./Canadian border to its outlet at the Richelieu River in Quebec. From there, the water flows into the St. Lawrence River, and eventually into the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Lake Champlain is over 120 miles (193 km) long and, at its widest about 12 miles (19 km) wide.  Its surface area covers about 435 sq mi (1,127 km2) has 587  (945 km) miles of shoreline and about 80 islands. With an average depth of 64 feet (19.5 m) and maximum depth of 400 feet (122 m)  in the area between Charlotte, Vermont and Essex, New York., Lake Champlain holds 6.2 cu miles (25.8 cubic km) of water or 6.8 trillion gallons (25.8 cubic km) .


Lake Champlain’s Five Zones

The Lake is divided into five distinct areas, each with different physical and chemical characteristics and water quality. These lake segments include: the South Lake (south of Chimney Point), the Main Lake (or Broad Lake), Malletts Bay (the bay between the mouths of Vermont’s Winooski and Lamoille rivers; it is also enclosed by shallows on either side extending to South Hero on Grand Isle) , the Inland Sea, or Northeast Arm (between the Champlain Islands and “mainland’ Vermont; it extends from the Sandbar Causeway north to the bridge connecting Alburgh and West Swanton, Vermont), and Missisquoi Bay (this part of the lake extends north into Quebec, Canada from the Alburgh-West Swanton bridge. It has no outlet, and is generally shallower) .


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