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Canyon Ferry Lake
Canyon Ferry Lake
Location Lewis and Clark and Broadwater Counties in
 United States.
Located near Helena, Montana.
Type reservoir
Primary inflows Missouri River
Primary outflows Missouri River
Catchment area 15,904 sq mi (41,190 km2)
Basin countries United States
Max. length 30 miles (48 km)
Max. width 5 miles (8.0 km)
Surface area 33,500 acres (13,600 ha)
Water volume 2,051,000 acre⋅ft (2.530 km3)
Shore length1 76 mi (122 km)
Surface elevation 3,797 ft (1,157 m) msl
Islands Cemetery Island
Settlements Canton and Townsend
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Canyon Ferry Lake is a reservoir on the Missouri River near Helena, Montana and Townsend, Montana. It is Montana's third largest body of water, covering 35,181 acres (142 km²) and 76 miles (122 km) of shore (1). It was formed by the building of Canyon Ferry Dam, which was completed in 1954 and has been used for electricity, irrigation, and flood controls since.


The lake is a popular outdoor destination providing boating, fishing, wildlife habitat, and is nestled against the Big Belt Mountains of the Rocky Mountains. Canyon Ferry Lake has also become a leading ice boat venue for iceboat racing and iceboat world speed record attempts. The former town of Canton lies beneath the lake, having been submerged following construction of the dam.

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