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Newman Lake is a natural 1,200-acre lake located about 20 miles northeast of Spokane, Washington. Although Newman Lake is relatively small compared to other lakes in the state, it lacks nothing in beauty. Ringed by pine and fir trees, Lake Newman is nestled at the southerly base of Mount Spokane, just minutes from the Idaho border. With sprawling hay meadows and snow-capped mountains nearby, Newman Lake is a beautiful setting for year-round recreation including fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, and wildlife watching.
Early inhabitants of the Newman Lake area were Native Americans who hunted game and gathered berries along its shores and nearby hillsides. Newman Lake was named after an Englishman,William Newman, who first saw the lake when he was part of a 25-man escort for the Boundary Commission. Newman built a home and started farming on the southern portion of the lake around 1860 where he and his wife raised nine children.
Newman Lake was formed when a tributary valley was dammed by glacial debris during the Pleistocene Epoch. There are no natural perennial surface water outlets or inlets to Newman Lake. Any water flowing in or out of the lake does so through excavated or artificially created channels. To control flooding, Lake Newman has a channel and an outlet structure that controls the lake level with two adjustable gates. The structure is managed by the Newman Lake Flood Control Zone District.
The County Shoreline Master Program has designated Newman Lake as Rural Conservation, which applies to environmentally sensitive areas and encourages low impact uses. Various projects and activities have been undertaken over the years to protect the water quality of Newman Lake. In the 1960's and 70's there was growing concern that Newman Lake was over-enriched with nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen. Agriculture, timber activities, livestock, and residential development all contributed to the overabundance of nutrients that ended up in the lake. Work to correct these issues has been a cooperative effort by individuals, groups, and agencies. These various entities recognize that growth needs to be balanced with a reduction of nutrients making their way into the lake in order to preserve the water quality of Newman Lake.
Fishermen appreciate the water quality of Newman Lake, which is stocked regularly with largemouth bass, bluegill, tiger muskies, crappie, sunfish, perch, catfish, rainbow trout, brown trout, and eastern brook trout. Anglers will find public access on the east shore and from the various resorts.
Wildlife abounds around the shores of Newman Lake. Visitors will be treated to moose, waterfowl, elk, bald eagles, barred owls, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys, porcupines and black bears. Local concern about the impact of urban sprawl has led to additional protection for the state's natural resources. Newman Lake lies in the Spokane County Conservation District and benefits from The McKenzie Conservation Area located on the northwest shore of the lake. The area covers 421 acres of diverse land including lush forest, meadows and wetlands.
Due to the close proximity of the population base in Spokane and the beautiful setting, there is continual interest in further development around Newman Lake. Vacation properties are plentiful as well as homes and lakefront land for sale. With a marina and nine miles of wooded shoreline, Newman Lake is an inviting location for a family home whether for the summer or as a year-round residence.
For off-water fun, Newman Lake is less than five miles from Mount Spokane State Park with camping facilities and nearly 14,000 acres of hiking. A ski and snowboard resort is also nearby for winter fun. Just 30 minutes away, visitors can enjoy fine dining, shopping malls, and golf courses in Spokane or Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Newman Lake offers the conveniences of city life with the tranquility of a mountain lake, an ideal place for your family's next vacation.
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