About the Lake

Photo by K. Moran, 2014

The Lake Whatcom watershed is located in Whatcom County in the northwest corner of Washington State. The Watershed is a major source of drinking water for residents and also provides a place to live for a variety of animals, fish and humans alike. Lake Whatcom has also played an important role in the community's history of logging, mining, and lumber mills.

Photo by K. Moran, 2014

Watershed and Lake Facts

Lake Whatcom is about ten miles long and just over one mile wide at its widest point.

Photo by A. Reding, 2014

Fish and Wildlife

The Lake Whatcom Watershed is home to a variety of fish and wildlife species.

Water Supply and Treatment

Lake Whatcom is the source of water for approximately half of Whatcom County residents. The majority of these residents obtain water from the City of Bellingham.


The same tectonic forces that shaped the Cascade Range also tightly folded the layers of the Chuckanut Formation to create the Chuckanut Mountains including the hills around present day Lake Whatcom.

Water Quality

While our drinking water remains very clean and safe, the water quality in Lake Whatcom has been declining in recent decades due to ongoing changes and activities in the Lake Whatcom watershed.


Lake Whatcom History


Other resources