A dam was constructed in 1965 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to create the lake. It impounds the Quinebaug River for flood control and seasonal storm water management. The dam is owned and operated by the Corps of Engineers. 
The dam is one of the six flood control structures built on the river. This network of dams helps control flooding all the way from the upstream tributaries of the Thames River to the Long Island Sound. The West Thompson Dam was constructed in 1965. It cost 6.7 million U.S. dollars. 
The West Thompson Lake has a total storage capacity of 342 million gallons of flood water.
West Thompson Lake contains a myriad of natural resources, including diverse habitats, landscapes, plant life, and wildlife. The 1,857 acres of land around the lake is managed by Park Rangers. Of the total area, approximately 1,125 acres are forests. The forests consist of eastern white pine, oak, and shagbark hickory, birch and maple. 
- "Corps Lakes Gateway: Connecticut - West Thompson Lake". Corpslakes.usace.army.mil. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- Dam Name : West Thompson Dam; NPDP ID : CT00502 Stanford University.
- "West Thompson Lake". Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "West Thompson Lake (North Grosvenordale, Conn.), New England District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers". Nae.usace.army.mil. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "West Thompson Lake - North Grosvenordale, Connecticut". Ctvisit.com. Retrieved 2013-10-29.
- "Facility Details Booking Window - West Thompson Lake Campground, CT". Recreation.gov. Retrieved 2013-10-29.