Lake Omaha, Arkansas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Arkansas - Ozarks -

Also known as:  Omaha Lake

Anyone looking for a lake-focused destination in the middle of the United States would be wise to take more than a passing glance at Lake Omaha. This small man-made lake in the Ozarks Region of Arkansas is one of seven lakes created in the small town of Cherokee Village. Located in the scenic Ozark foothills just west of Hardy, the community is about 140 miles from both Little Rock and Memphis and about as close to nature as one can get. Positioned on the South Fork River, Lake Omaha was created in 1969 by damming small Hubble Creek. Originally intended as a retirement community, Cherokee Village now has just as many younger people living there as senior citizens. The seven lakes within Cherokee Village – Omaha, Thunderbird, Sequoyah, Chanute, Cherokee, Navajo and Aztec – are surrounded by the 15,000-acre planned development spanning the border of Fulton and Sharp Counties. In the 50 years since its creation, Cherokee Village has matured, improved and settled into a friendly, well-run leisure location that 4500 people now call home.

At 139 acres, Lake Omaha is one of the three biggest lakes within the complex. With lakes in the complex ranging in size from 19 to 264 acres, Lake Omaha is one of the few that allows water skiing. Forty feet deep at the dam, Lake Omaha supports all types of watercraft except jet skis. Water skiing and tubing are favorite activities here, and pontoon boats and power boating share space with sailboats, canoes, kayaks, paddleboats and sailboards. The lakes are clean, spring-fed and well-maintained with an excellent swim area. All lakes are open only to property owners and their guests who are often found fishing Lake Omaha and the smaller lakes. All lakes have been stocked with catfish, black bass, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and other species native to the area. A small marina located on the lake supplies dock space and necessities to residents who don’t own lake frontage. A larger marina is located on Lake Thunderbird, and community centers are located at or near both lakes. A total of six swimming pools are located throughout the community for the use of residents at a nominal fee. The lakes and many community improvements are owned and maintained by the Suburban Improvement District to whom each property owner is assessed a small annual fee.

The community has been planned to appeal to those with leisure time: two golf courses and a driving range are located within Cherokee Village, open only to residents. Both contain pro shops and golf cart rentals. Tournaments are held here several times a year. A Senior Citizen Center holds planned activities and meals for older adults, both those who remain in separate conventional homes and those that live in the townhouses, condos and retirement village. The Omaha Community Center contains a fully equipped health and fitness center, a stage and auditorium, meeting rooms, miniature golf, kitchen and spa facilities. More pools, a concession stand, miniature golf and additional meeting rooms are available at Thunderbird Community Center. Cherokee Village has a full compliment of civic organizations, special interest clubs, service groups and churches. There are tennis courts, horseshoe pits and shuffle board courts for those not engaged in fishing or boating. A gun club which maintains a trap range as well as a pistol and rifle range is located on the outskirts of the village. There is even an RV park and campground, open only to those with property owner permits for visitors. A small regional air strip south of the village serves area residents who are pilots. The Lake Omaha resident will find everything on their wish list readily available.

Real estate with lake frontage has become more expensive in recent years; homes directly on Lake Omaha are upscale quality homes at a still-reasonable price. Back lots are considerably less expensive to purchase yet retain the benefits of lake ownership due to the covenants in place through the Suburban Improvement District. Younger residents have discovered the advantages of life at Lake Omaha, and their numbers are growing. Part of the appeal is the many nature-oriented activities in the surrounding area. Only 14 miles north of Lake Omaha, Mammoth Springs holds one of the world’s largest natural springs. Mammoth Spring is the origination point of the Spring River, considered one of the best canoeing rivers in the state. Spring River flows adjacent to Cherokee Village, and numerous outfitters in the area provide equipment rental and transportation to white-water adventures. The South Fork of the Spring River flows through Cherokee Village and provides not only excellent fishing for bass and the occasional walleye, but a water route to the village of Hardy. A leisurely float down the quieter stretches of the river provides the opportunity for picnicking on the many sandbars and viewing wildlife, foliage and wildflowers. Deer are plentiful in the Lake Omaha area – even in the village.

The area around Lake Omaha is filled with beautiful vistas and plenty of trails for walking and mountain biking. Camping and hiking trails are also available at Mammoth Spring State Park on the Arkansas-Missouri state line. The Jordan Recreation Area and campground on Norfolk Reservoir is 50 miles to the west, as is a unit of the Ozark National Forest and Blanchard Springs Caverns. Forty miles beyond is famed Bull Shoals Lake and State Park. Between are many rivers and streams for canoeing, rafting, fishing and exploring. The small towns of the Ozarks are a joy to explore, with friendly residents and quaint bed-and-breakfasts in scenic settings. Hardy is a well-known crafts and antique-hunters destination. Besides Hardy and Mammoth Springs, nearby villages like Ash Fork and Evening Shade hold their own small town charm. Local communities can provide groceries and staples, but major shopping requires a trip to Jonesboro, Searcy or Little Rock. Children from Cherokee Village attend the excellent Highland Schools in Hardy; Ash Fork is home to the new Ozarka College, a two-year college.

Vacation rentals near Lake Omaha can be found, usually private residences available by the week or month. Other forms of lodgings can be found at Hardy less than five miles away. So come spend some time at Lake Omaha and explore the Cherokee Village area. You may decide to become a villager. Come see what you’re missing!

Things to do at Lake Omaha

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • National Forest
  • Miniature Golf
  • Antiquing
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Omaha

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Lake Omaha Photo Gallery

    Lake Omaha Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Cherokee Village Suburban Improvement District

    Surface Area: 139 acres

    Shoreline Length: 5 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 494 feet

    Maximum Depth: 40 feet

    Water Volume: 2,780 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1969

    Lake Area-Population: 4,500

    Drainage Area: 4 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Mesotrophic

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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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