Salamonie Lake was authorized under the Flood Control Act of 1958. The Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers designed, built, and operates the project to reduce flood damages downstream from the dam. The lake operates primarily as a unit with Huntington and Mississinewa lakes to reduce flood stages in the upper Wabash River Basin. The dam is about 15 miles east of Wabash, Ind., on the Salamonie River, a tributary of the Wabash River. Salamonie also operates with other lakes downstream to reduce flood stages along the lower Wabash River and the Ohio River. The area’s most directly benefited include the cities of Wabash, Peru, and Logansport, Ind., and about 31,500 acres of agricultural land and related developments.
During the fall and winter months, when excessive rainfall is likely, the lake is kept at a relatively low level referred to as winter pool. Should heavy rains occur, surface water runoff is stored in the lake until the swollen streams and rivers below the dam have receded and can handle the release of the stored water without damage to lives and property.