Lake Ellsworth, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Great Plains Country -

Lake Ellsworth is a 5,600-acre reservoir nestled in the Great Plains region of Southwest Oklahoma. The City of Lawton completed Ellsworth Dam in 1962, creating Lake Ellsworth to provide water to area residents and a recreational destination for tourists. Lake Ellsworth is actually the larger of two lakes near Lawton. Lake Lawtonka is west of the city and is not quite half the size of Lake Ellsworth.

Lake Ellsworth has 43 miles of shoreline offering ample room for camping, picnicking, swimming, and an area for all-terrain vehicles. The City of Lawton offers picnic areas, campsites, and boat ramps at its campgrounds: Edgewater, Chandler Creek and Collier Landing. If you like roughing it in the wilderness, the three parks have primitive camp site rentals through the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. For those of us who like more creature comforts, RV hookups are available as well. You should call ahead to check for availability. Additional RV campsites are available at lakefront resorts which also offer convenience stores, boat gas, and bait and tackle shops. Vacation rentals are available nearby in and around Lawton and Medicine Park.

There are some whopper-sized fish in Lake Ellsworth. In 1999 an angler reeled in one for the record books, an 85 pound, 4 ounce Blue Catfish, a state record at the time. Lake Ellsworth boasts a wide assortment of challenges for anglers, including channel catfish, crappie, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, saugeye, sunfish, walleye and white bass.

Water sports are a big draw to the wide open sections of Lake Ellsworth; wakeboarding, water skiing and jet skiing are popular pastimes. Swimming is allowed in most areas of the lake except near the dam, boat ramps and boat house areas. There are no lifeguards, so swimming is at your own risk. Check with the Lawton Parks and Recreation department for the complete list of guidelines.

A visit to Lake Ellsworth and the surrounding area presents travelers with the unique opportunity to see one of the last wide open grazing areas in the United States. Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is home to a resurging population of American bison. Hunted to near extinction, the bison’s numbers are growing. Looking over the herd gives visitors a glimpse of what Native Americans and early settlers used to see. The Refuge is also home to the Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed deer and Texas longhorn cattle.

Medicine Park is an historic Oklahoma resort town near the main entrance of the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Located along the “healing waters” of Medicine Creek, Medicine Park is not just a place to stay when visiting the wildlife refuge, it is a destination. It is a town with unique cobblestone architecture and a plethora of art galleries featuring resident artists.

The City of Lawton, Oklahoma is known as one of the most diverse communities in the southwest. It is 50 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. The City has ample shopping opportunities, accommodations, and several casinos for those who are adventurous with what is in their wallets.

Native American history and the natural history of the area are honored by the indoor and outdoor exhibits of the Great Plains Museum in Lawton. Tourists can get a feel for what life on the frontier was like while visiting both the Great Plains Museum and the Fort Sill Museum. The Fort Sill Army base dates back to 1869 and was a headquarters for United States Army units trying to stop Indian raids on nearby settlements. There is a museum where visitors can get a look at 20th century weaponry and walk through buildings constructed by Buffalo Soldiers. The Apache warrior, Geronimo, was held at the fort. His grave is on the grounds. Today Fort Sill is a U.S. Army Field Artillery Center. It is the only active Army base of all the forts built on the South Plains during the Indian wars.

While visiting the Lake Ellsworth area offers the best in outdoor recreation and a chance to connect to our country’s frontier history, the City of Lawton is also looking to the future. Renovations to the downtown area are well underway and new residential developments and shopping centers are springing up in the area.

Things to do at Lake Ellsworth OK

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Shopping
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Lake Ellsworth OK

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Blue Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Saugeye Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Lake Ellsworth OK Photo Gallery

Lake Ellsworth OK Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Lawton

Surface Area: 5,600 acres

Shoreline Length: 43 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,235 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 96 feet

Average Depth: 16 feet

Maximum Depth: 54 feet

Water Volume: 95,200 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1962

Drainage Area: 251 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

Spread the word! Share our Lake Ellsworth OK article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.