Welcome to the Lake Tarpon Information Center  

Serving the interests of Lake Tarpon for 14 years

Lake Tarpon, the "Jewel of Pinellas County" is located about 10 miles West of Tampa in Palm Harbor and Tarpon Springs Florida.  This 2,500 acre lake provides recreation and enjoyment for thousands in the Tampa Bay area.  You can visit Lake Tarpon at Anderson Park, Chesnut Park or several other public access points listed on these maps.


Never feed alligators - they lose their natural fear of humans!
Eliminate the use of fertilizer or only use liquid fertilizer - it makes the lake GREEN, too!

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Hot Topics

New Radio station for North Pinellas!   Sponsors and donations needed!

WZIG 104.1 FM is on the air!  …and it’s based on Lake Tarpon!  It’s non-profit, non-commercial, locally owned and operated.   …and it’s run by a dog.  Yes, a dog.  ...and the dog likes his own genre: EXTREME VARIETY - try it!

 Ziggy Picture


You can get it on your smartphone and your PC anywhere in the world at WZIG.org

Need to get your company name mentioned on the radio?  WZIG does sponsorship acknowledgements (like PBS thanks their sponsors) – see WZIG.org

Bumper stickers are here!  Bumper stickers are here!  Get one with a donation online or $2 if you buy from Ziggy, the station’s goofy Labrador Retriever mascot, who often visits Snappers Grill and Comedy Club (US19 and Oak St).  These stickers are the kind that come off easily and are popular on rear windows.


WZIG is looking for community programming producers! 

Want to be on the radio by producing programming that benefits the community? (boating safety, community issues, local artists, etc.) – see WZIG.org . 

New Bait Shop!

Lake Tarpon Bait Tackle and Rental has opened up at the Boat and Motor Superstore, 36851 US Hwy 19 North Palm Harbor FL 34684 (727) 551-1113.  It's at the corner of US19 and Citrus Drive, entrance directly on US19.  Stop by and take a look!

Marina Re-opens - fuel once again available on the lake!

The marina (formerly known as Fischer Marine) on US19 just north of Dolly Bay is open once again and they have no-ethanol 90 octane fuel.  Gulf Coast Boat Sales also has boat rentals, boat sales, snacks, beer and wine.  Their number is 727 841-8811 and the address is 37517 US 19N Palm Harbor.  Take the canal just north of Dolly Bay to the end.  Dolly Bay is on the West side of Lake Tarpon somewhat in the middle - see the maps for more info.  Hours M-F 9-6, Sat and Sun 9-5.

Canal Weed Spraying by Pinellas County eliminated - private program in place

Pinellas county will stop spraying residential canals for some nuisance vegetation effective immediately.  See pinellascounty.org/laketarpon for more information. 

The state (SWFWMD) will treat FLOATING vegetation on the lake and in the canals.  They will also treat Hydrilla, if notified.  However, the predominant nuisance plant in Lake Tarpon is Pondweed, for which there is no local or state funding for.  It's up to the lake residents to obtain a permit and contractor to treat this on their own.  Contacting your state and federal representatives may help change this.

A private program has been established in Lakeshore Estates and Freshwater Estates (next to Dolly Bay and Little Dolly Bay) and the results are excellent.  If your community wishes to join this effort, please

Please avoid using granular fertilizer - use liquid, if any

The Pinellas County Commission has passed an ordinance limiting fertilizer sales.  This will help extend the life of Lake Tarpon and all lakes in Pinellas County.  If your lawn is lush and green on the shores of Lake Tarpon or within ½ mile of the lake, then you are contributing to the health decline of the lake.  Please limit fertilizer to a minimum and tell your homeowner association to change the rules on lawn care.  Using LIQUID fertilizer helps limit runoff, as it is more quickly absorbed into the grass.

Which Army General attended the dedication of the Lake Tarpon Outfall Canal?  Over 400 people attended!  Find out here: Closing of Lake Tarpon Sink and Outfall Canal articles

George Medders' Lake Tarpon Fishing Report - Click here.   The St. Petersburg Times Fishing Guide (340KB) is here.  A printed fishing guide is available on Amazon.  Get a fishing license here.

Water level, quality, clarity and other interesting data on Lake Tarpon are on the Pinellas County Water Atlas site.  Take a look!

Lake Tarpon Management Plan Updated January 2006 - Download here (2MB). 

Here is a sample:  "Due to historically excellent water quality and healthy fish and wildlife populations, the lake has served as an important recreation resource. However, anthropogenic eutrophication of the lake increased rapidly in the 1990s." 

In my opinion, this means that Lake Tarpon will quickly lose it's sportfish and water quality will decline unless we stop the nutrient runoff into the lake.  This means building more retention ponds to capture runoff and initiating an education campaign to stop residents from fertilizing their lawns (at least stop using granular fertilizer; liquid goes into the ground faster and can't easily be washed into the lake).  Fertilizer adds excess nutrients to the lake and accelerates the health decline.

 Here is the original Lake Tarpon Management Plan adopted by Pinellas County Commission July '99
        How will water quality be preserved?  How will user conflicts be resolved? Will Lake Tarpon end up like Lake Apopka?  What does Anabaena look like?
             Lake Tarpon Management Committee Meets periodically at PC Dept of Environmental Mgmt 727 464-4761

Lake Tarpon as a water source - full report hereThis project is moving forward.  Water that would normally discharge into the bay may be captured for reclaimed or potable use.

Restaurants on the Lake -  See the maps for locations.

·         Tarpon Turtle 727 934-3696, NorthWest side of the lake (Re-opened, but no longer dog friendly)

·         Now closed, waiting for new restaurant: Dockside Sports Bar and Grille   (formerly Sundown/Hemingway's) - part of the Vista Hotel 727 942-0358 (formerly Lake Tarpon Resort/Best Western), located down the canal just North of Dolly Bay. (open!)

Fish consumption recommendations by the state of Florida

Updated Lake Tarpon Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) Plan - August 2000
       This affects all lake users - please read it! 
To print it, Download the WordPerfect copy. (4MB)

Additional Chesnut Park Information, Detailed Environmental Maps, More Tarpon Springs Information and more pictures.

Lake Tarpon Fisheries Report 12/93  Funded by the Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management and conducted by The University of Florida - Download here!  (2.2MB)

Updated lake level fluctuation planGood for the lake and it won't go nearly as low as the Spring 2000 drought.

User conflicts - how do other urban areas handle this? Here's an Analysis

Recreation, Maps and Pictures (2 restaurants, 2 marinas, 3 parks, 1 hotel, 1 BnB)

Where is Lake Tarpon?  It's shown at the top end of US19 on this Map. Tampa Florida is on this Map.
Maps of the lake, including gas, food, lodging, boat repairs, and more!
Parks on the Lake: Anderson, Chesnut and  Canal Park 

Lake Tarpon Christmas Parade Pictures: 2007,  2006 and 2005.

Billy Ely's Wakeboard Video
Lake and Outfall Canal photos and information.
  SWFWMD's Outfall Canal Guide
Fishing: Reports, regulations, Fishing Licenses, Guide and lodge: Florida Fishing Adventures - Captain Gene Zamba (727-938-8186) and his excellent fishing report, George Medders' Guide service and Fishing Report 727-237-7033.
Environmental Maps: USF study including Land use, topography, and more...
Boat Rentals:   Tarpon Lake Boat Rentals - Boat Rentals, ship's store, live bait 37517 US 19N Tarpon Springs. 727-944-BOAT (2628)

Camping:  Clearwater KOA 727 937-8412.  It's not directly on the lake but very close by.  Cypress Pointe Campground was closed and developed into single-family homes.

Lake Tarpon Resort  727 942-0358 (formerly Best Western), located down the canal just North of Dolly Bay.  Docking on canal to lake.
Closed: Dockside Sports Bar and Grille 727 934-3700 (formerly Hemingway's) - part of the Lake Tarpon Resort.
Days Inn (Tarpon Springs, across US 19 from lake, near Anderson Park) email or phone 727 938-8000
Holiday Inn (38724 Us Highway 19 N, Tarpon Springs, 34689, also near Anderson Park) - 727 934-5781
East Lake Bed and Breakfast

Diving in Knight's Sink (in Anderson Park)
Repair and towing - Tarpon Lake Marine - Gary 727 938-1164, 938-6276  Keep this number on your boat.
Jack Willie's Tarpon Turtle on Lake Tarpon (formerly Tarpon Turtle Cabins, English Pub, Ramp and Marina) 1513 Lake Tarpon Ave, Tarpon Springs.  727 934-3696

Information for Residents

Animal Capture can remove nuisance gators
Florida Dock Lease Fees for property zoned commercial or multi-family residential
"Minimum Speed" Zone for the South Cove
Vegetation - Desirable, Undesirable, What are those weeds caught on my prop? Who sprays to kill weeds?
Economic Value of Lake Tarpon
Lake Apopka - a eutrophic lake (prematurely aged with poor fishing)  This is what will happen to Lake Tarpon if we keep putting granular fertilizer on our lawns.  Use liquid fertilizer if you have to fertilize at all.


Government Contacts - All these agencies (and more!) have some jurisdiction over Lake Tarpon

Pinellas County Department of Environmental Management - Reporting Hydrilla and Hyacinth patches, environmental concerns: 464-4761
Pinellas County Mosquito Control - Residential canal vegetation harvesting and spraying 727 464-7503
Reporting aggressive alligators - Call the FWC: 800 282-8002 or 941 648-3206
Permit information for docks and seawalls - Pinellas County Water and Navigation: 727 464-3665
Permit information for vegetation removal - DEP
City of Tarpon Springs
Pinellas County Commissioners
Pinellas County Property Appraiser - look up tax assessments
Law Enforcement - Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commmission (formerly Fl Game and Freshwater Fish Comm), Pinellas County Sheriff's office (check out the Marine Unit), Florida Marine Patrol
Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD); Recent funding request
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
The US Army Corps of Engineers

Community Contacts

Lake Shore Estates and Freshwater Estates
Highland Lakes Homeowners Association and their Lake Tarpon Web Page
Dolly Bay Homeowners Page and more info
Lansbrook Homeowners Association - Steven Shapiro
Lake Tarpon Village Gazette


      Karl Reinhardt, Florida Premiere Realty 727 480-5321
Coldwell Banker - Isabelle Lane 727 781-3700 ext 235
      Re/Max - Anne Pallister 727-789-5555 Ext. 131, 1-800-258-7653
Re/Max - Sue and Jim Flowers 727-709-6221 C
SOLID - Save Our Lake, Invite Discussion - environmental group for lake tarpon - email Paul at bottom of this page
Suncoast Ski and Barefoot Club - dormant - email Paul at bottom of this page for details

Lake History

NEW! Closing of Lake Tarpon Sink and Outfall Canal articles

Picture of Lakeshore Estates in the early days:   Quick pic   Large pic
Zoning/Land Use battle: How Cypress Pointe Campground didn't become a Walmart or Home Depot - it's now single-family homes.   Here are the details of now-defeated Walmart proposals
Results of the 1996 Lake Tarpon Waterfront Residents' Survey
The fast level drop of February 1998
The Anabaena Bloom of 1987
The Lake - Past and Present
The Outfall Canal - Past and Present
Lake Tarpon's original name: Lake Butler Look at this St Pete Times article for the full story.
Lake Tarpon is named after the city of Tarpon Springs, not the fish.
News Archives: 1966: New plan formed for Lake Tarpon, 1965: Plans for Upper Tampa Bay call for changes in salinity

In 2003, manatee reportedly come into the lake over the dam.  Here is more information.  No one else has confirmed this and no reports since then.

If you have any material or ideas to contribute, please to email Paul.

email obscured to reduce spam

Photos of Lake Tarpon activities, especially historical ones, are cheerfully accepted.

Created September 11, 1997.  Last update November 2015.
This site is privately maintained and does not represent any government or commercial entity.
All pages and photos are copyright 1997-2014 Paul Kempter unless otherwise credited.  Please ask to use photos - they contain watermarks.  Licensing terms available, usually free for personal/non-profit.  Please verify all information independently before taking action - accuracy or completeness is not guaranteed. Some content is personal opinion.

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