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WH paddle boarding couple

Our Lakes

[Animated image showing Winter Haven lakes]

Winter Haven is the Chain of Lakes City and has 50 lakes within or bordering city limits. This makes our lakes one of our most valuable recreational, economic, and environmental resources, and the primary focus of the Natural Resources Division of Public Works. For the division’s page click here.

Each year the division publishes an annual report on the state of our lakes and what management strategies are in place to preserve an enhance them. This report is available as a PDF or as a condensed interactive storyboard, both linked below. To view all published reports go to our report page here

Button to open annual lakes report PDF

There are many ways to get out and enjoy our lakes. Visit the GIS gallery for an interactive map offering directions and information on all public boat ramps and lakeside parks. You can also access lake information such as bathymetry, surface level, and water quality through the gallery’s Lakes map.

Water Quality 

Water quality plays a vital role in keeping our lakes healthy and safe. The Natural Resources Division closely monitors water quality data for all Winter Haven lakes from the County on a quarterly basis and works with federal and local partners to implement water quality improvement projects for impaired lakes.

There are several measures that go into assessing water quality. The division partners with the Lakes Advisory Committee to develop an annual lakes report compiling the water quality information for each year and provides explanations on each of these measures and their significance. Click the link at the top of this page to view the most recent report

In addition, the Polk County Water Atlas is a great resource for looking up current and legacy information for lakes. Alternatively, the Lakes web map provides a way to quickly look-up information from the atlas on any lake in the area, as well as shows the most recently available bathymetry and depth information. To view the app, visit the GIS Gallery.


Hydrology refers to the study of water and how it impacts the environment. Precipitation, groundwater, runoff, lakes, and streams: all of theseImage depicting the water cycle. seemingly individual components interact with one another to form a dynamic system known as the hydrologic or water cycle. Understanding these interactions as well as how each of these aspects can affect the local ecology and lake water quality is one of the key management strategies of the City’s Natural Resources Division. The following are interactive charts updated with monthly rainfall, lake level, and groundwater data. Below are also sections that provide some background information on these metrics and the terminology you’ll find in the charts.

Stay up-to-date on local Natural Resources news & events – follow us on the social media links below!
Image linking to division's Instagram page