Most of Indiana’s rivers flow southward and westward and form part of the Mississippi River system. In addition, there are several small rivers that flow northward to Lake Michigan or eastward, through Ohio, to Lake Erie. The watershed, or dividing line, in Northern Indiana between the Mississippi River system and the Great Lakes drainage basin is generally low, swampy, and poorly defined.
The Ohio River, a major tributary of the Mississippi River, forms a navigable route along the entire length of the Indiana-Kentucky state line. The Ohio’s major tributary in Indiana is the Wabash River.
The Wabash, 824 km (512 mi) in length, flows generally westward across north central Indiana and then turns southward to form a lengthy section of the Indiana-Illinois state line. In Indiana the principal tributaries of the Wabash are the Tippecanoe River in the north, and the East Fork and the West Fork of the White River, which drain large areas of the southern and south central portions of Indiana. Indianapolis, the capital, is located on the West Fork of the White River.
The major river in northwestern Indiana is the Kankakee River. The Kankakee rises near South Bend and flows westward across Indiana into Illinois, where it joins the Des Plaines River to form the Illinois River, a tributary of the Mississippi. In northeastern Indiana the Maumee River, which drains to Lake Erie is formed at Fort Wayne by the junction of the Saint Marys and Saint Joseph rivers.
There is another Saint Joseph River, which loops through South Bend in northern Indiana to enter Lake Michigan in Michigan.
There are about 1,000 small natural lakes in Indiana, chiefly in the northern part of the state. The largest is Lake Wawasee, which covers almost 13 sq km (5 sq mi). In the central part of the state there are several lakes that were created behind dams on a number of smaller streams. They include Monroe Lake, near Bloomington; Geist and Eagle Creek reservoirs, northeast and northwest of Indianapolis; and Mississinewa and Huntington reservoirs, north of Marion. "Indiana" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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