West Lake Toho

VillageAngler.com fishing West Lake Toho

West Lake Toho (Approx. 22,000 acres) is the largest lake located entirely in Osceola County, Florida, averaging 6 to 8 feet in depth at normal pool. Its primary inflow is Shingle Creek, which rises near the Sea World properties in the Orlando area. West Lake Toho is linked on its northeast shoreline to East Lake Toho, via the 3 mile long St. Cloud #31 Canal (non-navigable). The Southport Lock and Dam, located at the south point of West Lake Toho, connects it to Lake Cypress to the south, via the 4 mile long Southport Canal.

West Lake Toho is world famous for its Bass fishing and bird watching activities. Anglers, professional and otherwise, flock to its shores to test their fishing skills. West Lake Toho hosts as many, if not more, local, State, and National tournament events as any other lake in the State of Florida. West Lake Toho currently holds the record for a 5-fish tournament limit of Bass at 45 pounds plus… that’s a 9 lb. average per Bass. Wow!!! Airboat tours are available for those nature seekers, who desire to leave the beaten paths, and view the swamplands at arm’s length.

West Lake Toho underwent a series (4) of lake draw-downs in 1971, 1979, 1986/1987, and 2003/2004 respectively, where in each event, approximately 35% of the lake’s bottom was exposed, allowing for the consolidation of mud, silt, and undesirable vegetation forms that had invaded the lake. These restoration projects, collectively, helped restore the lake’s environmental vitality, making it today one of the top fisheries in the country, year in, and year out.

1971, 1979 Drawdowns: These two (2), six (6) month long events were classified as “water removal” projects. The lake bottom was exposed to allow for the drying of muck, silt, and undesirable vegetation that had invaded the lake. None of these materials were removed from the lake.

1986/1987 Drawdown: This six (6) month project was scheduled between Nov. 1986, and May, 1987. The lake was lowered approximately 6 feet during the first 3 month period, exposing approximately 35% of the lake bottom. This allowed for the drying of muck, silt, and undesirable vegetation that had invaded the lake. Landowners on a short 4 mile section of the lake, granted the State of Florida access to their lakefront properties so it could conduct specific scraping/cleanup activities. Bulldozers, front-end loaders, and heavy-duty scrapers pushed and piled muck for the last 3 months of the drawdown. It was all (250 Million yards) hauled off by dump trucks to pre-specified dump sites. The May 1987 completion deadline coincided with the start of the rainy season, so as to facilitate the rapid refilling of the lake to normal pool.

2003/2004 Drawdown: This six (6) month project was scheduled between Nov. 2003 and May, 2004. The lake was lowered approximately 6 feet during the first 3 months of the project, exposing approximately 35% of the lake bottom. This allowed for the drying of muck, silt, and undesirable vegetation that had invaded the lake since the 1986/1987 drawdown. The State of Florida decided to "Push-N-Pile" muck to form spoil islands out off of shorelines to minimize potential “property owner” liability issues that were dealt with during the previous drawdown. Dump trucks were limited to hauling muck short distances to the spoil islands instead of long hauls to pre designated dump sites, some several miles away. The "Push-N-Pile" technique worked, as it enabled the cleanup crews to scrape approximately 70% of West Lake Toho’s shorelines. There were 29 huge spoil islands formed around the lake’s perimeter. Most were standing 25 to 40 feet tall in 3 to 5 feet of open water, a testament to the hauling monies saved using the “Push-N-Pile” technique. The spoil island remnants are barely recognizable today, as erosion, over time, has taken its toll on them.

The primary emergent aquatic vegetation types on West Lake Toho are maiden cane, Kissimmee grasses, bull rushes, cattails, and lily pads. Bottom growing types are eel, shrimp, and musk grasses. Gator and Hydrilla grasses are invasive species, and are kept in moderate control via eradication projects sponsored by the State of Florida.

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Directions

West Lake Toho - Ramp #1

69 Lakeview Dr., Kissimmee, Fl.34741
Lat:28.287282, Lon:-81.407944

Big Toho Marina.

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West Lake Toho - Ramp #2

1550 Scottys Rd., Kissimmee, Fl.34744
Lat:28.262084, Lon:-81.383758

Richardsons Fish Camp.

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West Lake Toho - Ramp #3

4715 Kissimmee Park, Rd., Saint Cloud, Fl.34772
Lat:28.199254, Lon:-81.376457

Lake Toho Resort (Reds Fish Camp).

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West Lake Toho - Ramp #4

2001 E. Southport Rd., Kissimmee, Fl.34746
Lat:28.135935, Lon:-81.363775

Boggy Creek Airboat Rides (Southport Park).

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West Lake Toho - Ramp #5

2567 Ridgeway Drive, Kissimmee, Fl.34746
Lat:28.224461, Lon:-81.416463

Granada Landing.

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West Lake Toho - Ramp #6

3757 Lake Tohopekaliga Rd. ST. Cloud, FL 34772
Lat:28.1824133, Lon:-81.3338373

Whaley's Landing.

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