Millwood Lake, Arkansas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Arkansas - Timberlands -

Also known as:  Lake Millwood

Millwood Lake is massive. It boasts 29,500 shallow surface acres, waters in which multitudes of fish thrive, giving the lake its glorious reputation as a prime fishery. An image of serene perfection, it is surrounded by thousands of acres of hills and woods of southwest Arkansas’s Timberlands region. The plentiful wildlife that live in and around the lake are testament to its diverse and beautiful habitats. Millwood Lake attracts hundreds of species of birds, making the lake one of the most popular birding spots in Arkansas. A flock of white pelicans live on the lake, bald eagles winter here, and garblers, gulls, ducks, hummingbirds — the list goes on endlessly — can be sighted on or around the lake, nesting, feeding, and preening.

Wildlife viewing at Millwood Lake is made convenient by the nature trails that ramble through hundreds of acres of wildlife sanctuary and land. Natural areas, such as White Cliffs or Millwood State Park, provide opportunities to watch waterfowl, whitetail deer, squirrel, rabbit, mourning dove, wild turkey, quail, otter, muskrat, mink, raccoon, armadillo, opossum, fox, beaver and so many other animals. Many of these are target game for hunters who will have a ball here. Hunting is not allowed within 300 yards of any recreation area or structure, so hunters are encouraged to be mindful of their location while hunting.

The Millwood Lake Project was completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1966. The project was built as a flood control system and, along with other lakes in the region, largely reduces whopping flood costs. The lake also provides water supply, invites substantial recreation, and improves fish and wildlife. The dam, magnificently large, is located on Little River, which, in turn, is fed by the Cossatot and Saline Rivers. Both the Cossatot and Saline are very popular for white-water canoeing and kayaking.

Ample recreation areas around the Millwood Lake provide boat ramps, campgrounds, picnic shelters and a swim area facilitating boating, swimming, picnicking, hiking and fishing excursions. Enjoy the calm waters and set out on the lake, ready for an unpredictable adventure. Boating “lanes,” crafted by pilings, give direction to boaters and meander through the lake’s marshes, oxbows and 20,000 acres of submerged timber. Posted signs provide further guidance and direction to specific areas of the lake.

Fish love Lake Millwood’s diverse environment. Thriving populations of bass make the lake a “lunker bass” lake, attracting anglers to well-established bass tournaments. Largemouth bass, white striped bass, spotted bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill, sunfish, buffalo carp and drum fish fill the waters and make their home among the sheltering timbers.

While fishing or conducting any other activity on the lake, be aware that alligators live in Millwood Lake. And also, due to dangers that might arise as a result of strong winds, stumps and floating debris, the Army Corps encourages boaters to carry with them handheld two-way radios. Channel 9 and sub-channel 1 are monitored by park rangers, park attendants, other boaters and some local fishing shops, so keep your radio on those channels for the best communication in times of need.

The Millwood Lake Project is an ongoing project for the Army Corps, who intends to improve the lake and surrounding acres to the most pristine state possible, while enhancing native plants and wildlife populations. The 65-mile shoreline, therefore, is heavily protected. Because government and private boundaries are sometimes unclear, those interested in acquiring a shoreline permit or purchasing real estate on the lake should consult with someone at the Millwood Project Office.

Tread carefully on this prized habitat while you hike through miles of forest or fish its treasured waters. Lake Millwood is one of Arkansas’s most prized possessions.

Things to do at Millwood Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Millwood Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish

Millwood Lake Photo Gallery

Millwood Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 29,500 acres

Shoreline Length: 65 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 259 feet

Average Depth: 9 feet

Completion Year: 1966

Drainage Area: 4,144 sq. miles

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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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