Calamus Reservoir, Nebraska, USA
Welcome to the ultimate guide to Calamus Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!
Topics we cover in this article:
- All About Calamus Reservoir
- Things to Do
- Fish Species
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Calamus Reservoir Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Shop Calamus Reservoir Gifts
Looking for Calamus Reservoir cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.
All About Calamus Reservoir
Located in central Nebraska, the Calamus Reservoir is a wonderful place to relax, appreciate the beauty of nature, and enjoy some fun on the water. The reservoir was built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation by constructing a dam across the Calamus River. The dam, which was completed in 1986, was originally called the Calamus Dam, but the name was changed to Virginia Smith Dam in honor of Virginia Dodd Smith, one of Nebraska’s state representatives. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1975 to 1991 and worked hard to make positive changes for her state. The operation of Virginia Smith Dam is controlled by the Twin Loups Reclamation and Irrigation District. The 5,124-acre Calamus Reservoir is used for irrigation, causing the level of the lake to fluctuate as the lake’s water is distributed to the surrounding area.
Calamus Reservoir is a great place to enjoy many types of outdoor recreation. It’s a popular lake for fishing, with a variety of fishing tournaments held there each year. Some of the species of fish that can be caught in the lake include bass, channel catfish, walleye, northern pike, perch, and wipers. Calamus State Fish Hatchery is below the dam, and those interested in learning about fish production can take a tour of the hatchery. It is operated by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, and produces millions of trout, muskie, walleye, and other fish species each year.
Many different water sports can be enjoyed on Calamus Reservoir. It is a great place for boaters; there are several boat ramps from which to gain access to the lake, and all types of boats are permitted. However, the upper part of the lake is restricted to boats going less than five miles per hour. Some of the many ways to enjoy the pleasures of Calamus Reservoir are by gliding through the water on a sailboat, or splashing through the waves on water skiis. Windsurfers also enjoy this lake, and the “Windsurfing Rodeo” is an exciting surfing event held on Calamus Reservoir each year.
Calamus Reservoir is part of the 11,720-acre Calamus State Recreation Area. The recreation area is well set up to accommodate all who want to stay and enjoy the area, with a visitor center and a variety of camp sites, both modern and primitive. There are also many other amenities available – picnic tables for a relaxing outdoor meal, ramps for boaters to use, and sandy beaches for a refreshing swim.
Those who appreciate nature will find much to love about Calamus Reservoir and the surrounding area. Hiking and birdwatching are two of the activities enjoyed in the area. Birdwatchers will enjoy keeping their eyes peeled for the many different species of birds that make their home on and around the lake. Some of the birds in the area include pelicans, herons, and cormorants; other birds such as prairie chickens and grouse are also common. And wintertime brings the chance of seeing a majestic bald eagle gliding over the lake.
Tucked in the heart of this Midwestern state, Calamus Reservoir is the perfect place to stop and enjoy some fun in the great outdoors.
Things to Do at Calamus Reservoir
- Vacation Rentals
- Fishing Tournaments
Fish Species Found at Calamus Reservoir
- Channel Catfish
- Northern Pike
Find Places to Stay at Calamus Reservoir
If you’re considering a Calamus Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
Recommended Sites to Book a Calamus Reservoir Vacation
If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Calamus Reservoir lodging partners.
- VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
- Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
- Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
- Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
- TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
- Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
- KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
- RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
- CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
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.
Calamus Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: Twin Loups Reclamation and Irrigation District
Surface Area: 5,124 acres
Shoreline Length: 31 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,244 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 2,253 feet
Average Depth: 25 feet
Water Volume: 127,400 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1962
Drainage Area: 147 sq. miles
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.
Shop Calamus Reservoir Gifts
Advertise Your Calamus Reservoir Business or Vacation Rental
LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.
Looking for the Calamus Reservoir 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. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
Calamus Reservoir Photo Gallery
New photos coming soon!
Spread the word! Share our Calamus Reservoir article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!