What is a lake?

Lakes are water bodies which are deep enough (greater than 2 m) to contain water for long periods of time and to sustain fish during the winter by not freezing to the bottom. Some shallow water bodies, especially in the Arctic, are considered lakes simply because of their enormous surface area. "Lentic" is a term applied to lakes because the waters of these aquatic systems are standing or still, relative to rivers ("lotic" systems).