Branched Oak Lake, Nebraska, USA
Also known as: Dam Site #18
Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Branched Oak Lake.
If you’re considering Branched Oak Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Branched Oak Lake guide!
Branched Oak Lake visitor and community guide
Branched Oak Lake, part of the Branched Oak State Recreation Area, is conveniently located northwest of Lincoln, Nebraska’s state capital. Branched Oak Lake is the largest lake in the Army Corps of Engineers’ Salt Valley Project and is a popular vacation destination. Recreational activities include swimming, hunting, fishing, water skiing, boating, camping, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking and more.
Branched Oak Lake, also known as Dam Site #18, was created by impounding Salt Creek. Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1958, Branched Oak Lake was completed in 1967 by the Army Corps of Engineers. It is one of 10 lakes in the Salt Creek and Tributaries Flood Control Project, known as the Salt Valley Lakes by Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC). The project covers a total of 11,239 acres, and 4,289 of these acres are covered by water. Branched Oak Lake’s 1,800 acres are leased by the Corps of Engineers to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission.
Branched Oak State Recreation Area (SRA) offers incredible campgrounds with more than 300 campsites, most with electrical hook-ups. Camping is permitted in nine public use areas around the lake. Facilities include heated shower buildings, fish cleaning stations, and trailer dump stations. Both the Middle Oak Creek Campground and the South Shore Campground offer hard-surfaced campsites with electrical hookups as well as non-electrical tent sites. The South Shore Campground also provides day use areas for picnickers and boaters who do not need a boat ramp. A State Park Permit is required for entry. Visitors enjoy two swimming beaches at Branched Oak Lake (Liebers Point and north shore) with roped-off swimming areas. There are no lifeguards so visitors must swim at their own risk.
Branched Oak Lake offers an excellent trail system, including a Wildflower Nature Trail, Mountain Bike Trail, and Horse Trails. Branched Oak Lake even has an 800-acre Dog Trial Area, where championship dog trials are held each year.
Fishing and hunting are both popular at Branched Oak Lake. Anglers will find walleye, northern pike, crappie, channel and flathead catfish, bullhead, bluegill, white perch and largemouth bass. Jetties have been placed around the lake to offer excellent fishing for crappie and wipers. Branch Oak Lake offers shoreline trapping for fur-harvesters, and woods and grassland areas for hunting. Animals around the lake include, quail, pheasant, squirrel, rabbit, and deer. Hunters and trappers are not permitted within 100 yards of the public use areas.
Plan your trip soon to Branched Oak Lake where you can indulge in your favorite recreational pleasures.
Custom Branched Oak Lake house decor
Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.
Things to do at Branched Oak Lake
- Vacation Rentals
- Water Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
- State Park
Fish species found at Branched Oak Lake
- Black Bass
- Flathead Catfish
- Largemouth Bass
- Northern Pike
- White Perch
Best hotels and vacation rentals at Branched Oak Lake
The Branched Oak Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.
Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.
Branched Oak Lake photo gallery
New photos coming soon!
Branched Oak Lake statistics & helpful links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 1,780 acres
Shoreline Length: 16 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,284 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,311 feet
Water Volume: 25,088 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1969
We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.
Advertise your Branched Oak Lake vacation rental
LakeLubbers will soon offer homeowners and property managers the opportunity to to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily for accommodations. If you’d like additional details, please contact our advertising team here.
Looking for the Branched Oak Lake forum?
LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.
Spread the word! Share our Branched Oak Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!