Lake Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Green Country -

Also known as:  Fort Gibson Reservoir or Fort Gibson Lake

Fort Gibson is a historic place in United States military history. It was significant to many military expeditions; it was a site of negotiations, interactions, and confrontations with Native Americans; and it served troops during the Civil War and Reconstruction. In September of 1953, a lake five miles northwest of the momentous site was created by the Corps of Engineers and given the fort’s name, christening the new water body Fort Gibson Lake.

Cradled in the hills of Oklahoma’s wooded Green Country, Lake Fort Gibson is enormous. It covers 19,900 surface acres with 225 miles of shoreline. A multi-purpose water project designed and built by the US Army Corps of Engineers, construction of the lake began in 1942. Due to World War II, the project was interrupted and wasn’t finished until 11 years later in 1953. There are dozens of things to do on the lake, with scenic views of wooded hills that bloom in spring and are set ablaze with color in the fall. Fort Gibson Dam, in the winter, is great for viewing wintering birds: gulls, waders, eagles and others that nest close to the dam waiting for when the water release brings with it a rush of fish. Eagle watches are held for two weekends in January.

Marinas, on-the-water dining, lake cabins, boat docks, picnic sites, campsites and more facilitate a host of activities on Lake Fort Gibson. Sequoyah Bay State Park on the shores of the water body has lighted boat ramps, boat slip rentals, a full-service marina and cafe, camping sites, showers, a swimming beach, playgrounds, volleyball and basketball court, nature trails, cabins and picnic areas.

There are no limits to water sports on Lake Fort Gibson. Visitors to the lake go boating, wakeboarding, jet skiing, water skiing, and fishing. Fish targets are channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, hybrid striped bass, sunfish, spotted bass, paddle fish, black bass, white bass, walleye and largemouth bass. An attractive feature on the lake is its heated docks for winter fishing.

A public hunting area on Fort Gibson Reservoir is 21,798 acres. Game species include whitetail deer, bobwhite quail, mourning dove, waterfowl, geese, cottontail rabbit, squirrel and prairie chicken. 3,500 acres of the hunting area is set aside as a waterfowl refuge. There birders can see spotted sandpipe, rock wren, prairie falcon, common yellowthroat, sedge wren and up to 100 other species. Other sites around the lake offer more bird, flower and butterfly viewing. Butterflies you may see include the checkered white, pipevine swallowtail, spicebush swallowtail, and red admiral butterflies.

The nearby Muskogee area is one of dynamic culture, arts and entertainment and fully complements a Lake Fort Gibson vacation. The Azalea Festival held in beautiful Honor Heights Park happens in April when thousands of flowers are in bloom. The Green Leaf State Park offers more birding opportunities plus great hiking. The annual “Dusk Til Dawn Blues Festival” celebrates music with blues performances in the historically black town of Rentiesville and attracts a loyal gathering. The Three Rivers Museum tells the history of the American West frontier, while the Ataloa Lodge Museum showcases the artifacts of local Native American tribes. Eateries run the gamut from pizza to Bar-B-Que, from Chinese to Italian, from seafood to signature sandwich shops. Take a pause to reflect on an eventful day in an aromatic tea room.

Making a home in such a vibrant region could be one of the most satisfying decisions you’ve ever made. Near and around Fort Gibson Lake, your real estate options include homes for the homely and residences of architectural prominence. If you are just visiting, vacation rentals near the lake will allow you the respite you’ve been looking for. Relax in your cabin after a day soaking up all the leisure of surrounding beauty that is Lake Fort Gibson.

Things to do at Lake Fort Gibson

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground

Fish species found at Lake Fort Gibson

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • White Bass

Lake Fort Gibson Photo Gallery

Lake Fort Gibson Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 19,900 acres

Shoreline Length: 225 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 554 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 551 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 582 feet

Average Depth: 18 feet

Maximum Depth: 71 feet

Water Volume: 365,200 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1953

Drainage Area: 12,492 sq. miles

Trophic State: Hypereutrophic

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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.


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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.


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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."


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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