Gatun Lake

Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake.jpg
Ships follow marked channels
among the hilltop islands.
Gatun Lake is located in Panama
Gatun Lake
Gatun Lake
Coordinates9°11′N 79°53′W / 9.183°N 79.883°W / 9.183; -79.883Coordinates: 9°11′N 79°53′W / 9.183°N 79.883°W / 9.183; -79.883
Typeartificial lake
Primary inflowsChagres River
Basin countriesPanama
Surface area425 km2 (164 sq mi)
Water volume5.2 km3 (4,200,000 acre⋅ft)[1]
Surface elevation26 m (85 ft)
IslandsIsla Barro Colorado, Isla Gatun, Isla Falta Calzado, Isla Tres Perros

Gatun Lake (Spanish: Lago Gatún) is a large freshwater artificial lake to the south of Colón, Panama. It forms a major part of the Panama Canal, carrying ships 33 km (21 mi) of their transit across the Isthmus of Panama.

Supplementary benefits

Angling is one of the primary recreational pursuits on Gatun Lake. Non-native peacock bass were introduced deliberately to Gatun Lake around 1967[2] by a local businessman,[3] and have since flourished to become the dominant angling game fish in Gatun Lake. Locally they are called Sargento, and are believed to be the species Cichla pleiozona.[4]


  1. ^ Hulman, Lewis G. (1972). "System Relationships a Panama Canal Water Supply Study". Water Resources Research. 8 (3): 774–778. doi:10.1029/WR008i003p00769. hdl:2027/uc1.31210024723247.
  2. ^ Zaret, Thomas M.; Paine, R.T. (2 November 1973). "Species Introduction in a Tropical Lake". Science. 182 (4111): 449–455. doi:10.1126/science.182.4111.449. PMID 17832455. S2CID 19268817.
  3. ^ "Peacock Bass: Fun to Catch, Fine to Eat". Panama Canal Review. February 1971: 11. Retrieved 2012-04-30.
  4. ^ "Gatun Lake Peacock Bass Fishing Charters". Archived from the original on 2010-07-22. Retrieved 2012-04-30.


  • History Of The Panama Canal, by Ira E. Bennett
  • The Panama Canal, by Colonel George W. Goethals
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