Newt Graham Lock and Dam, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Green Country -

Also known as:  Newt Graham Lock and Dam 18, Newt Graham Lake, Newt Graham Reservoir, Newt Graham Pool

Barely 25 miles east of Tulsa, in Oklahoma’s Green Country Region, the Newt Graham Lock and Dam holds delight for the resident and visitor alike. The lock and dam are named for a major Tulsa supporter of the Arkansas River Navigation project. In order to facilitate water transportation to the Port of Catoosa, it was necessary to have a way to raise barges from the level of the Mississippi 420 feet below to the elevation of the Verdigris River. This was done via a series of seventeen locks and dams. The Newt Graham Lock and Dam raises waterway traffic from 511 feet up to the 531 foot level of the river. Wisely, the Army Corps of Engineers dedicated the new navigation pool and surrounding areas not only for navigation but to enhance wildlife habitat and improve recreational opportunities in the area. Newt Graham Reservoir sees many visitors each year who come to take advantage of these opportunities.

Named for a prominent Tulsa businessman of the 1920s, Newt Graham Lock and Dam property contains five public areas set aside for recreational activities. Most have improved campsites and picnic areas with grills. Several also contain public boat launch facilities. A Visitor’s Center provides maps and information on the area. Those with young children should be advised that there are no areas dedicated to swimming at the lake, but other activities will keep most children occupied. All types of watercraft are permitted, however all users must be cognizant of the navigation channel and give waterway traffic a wide birth. Information at the Visitors center will provide both general guidelines and regulations.

Because part of the navigational improvements included straightening the river channel, the old river course north of Newt Graham Lock and Dam provides a quiet, slow-moving body of water ideal for teaching young children to fish. This old channel is a favorite among experienced fishermen, who pursue channel and flathead catfish, crappie, large-mouth and striped bass, various sunfish, carp, buffalo, walleye and bream among the deadfalls along the old banks. The newly-straightened navigational channel provides for deeper water and different fishing techniques.

The wooded buffer zone along the Newt Graham reservoir provides cover for a wide variety of native birds. Many native animals take advantage of the buffer for needed cover in this generally agricultural area. Whitetail deer, dove, quail, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, woodchucks, opossum, coyote, fox, raccoon, an occasional armadillo and several species of migratory waterfowl frequent the area. The many local gravel roads and designated trails offer plenty of pathways for hiking and bicycling. The serious hiker will find a section of the Jean-Pierre Chouteau Trail begins near the visitor center and may be hiked to the Port of Catoosa, a distance of 20 miles. In season, hunters arrive to try their luck hunting the allowable game species ÃfffÃf,Ã,¢ÃffÃ,¢,Ãf,Ã,¬” by license only.

There are always local real estate opportunities available around Newt Graham Lock and Dam. There are few vacation rentals to be found in the close vicinity, but there are plenty of choices offered in surrounding towns. For those wishing to locate lodgings with swimming nearby for the kids, Wagoner may be a good option.

Wagoner, around 25 miles southeast of Newt Graham Lock and Dam, is a small town with a big heart. Wagoner grew up at the at the junction of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad (Katy line), with the branch of the Missouri Pacific originally called the Kansas & Arkansas Valley Road. In addition to the usual small town restaurant, movie and shopping offerings, Wagoner has recently opened a new pool area that is truly a mini-water park. There are water slides and activities for kids in an area that is under four feet deep, with diving boards in the deepest areas for adults. A separate kiddie pool offers Tommy the Turtle and his gentle stream of water and a ‘raindrop umbrella’ among other activities. The pool is open to residents and visitors alike for a nominal fee. Only four miles southeast of Wagoner, Fort Gibson Lake sports Sequoyah Bay State Park with a swimming beach among other amenities. Wagoner also opens the Wagoner Historical Museum to visitors. A few blocks away the Oklahoma Historic Fashions Museum showcases fashions of bygone days.

About the same distance northeast of Newt Graham Lake is the small town of Pryor. Actually named Pryor Creek, the Post Office shortened the name to Pryor over the years. Pryor is one of the oldest white settlements in Oklahoma, with a school and printing press established in the area around 1820. The town grew as a stop on the Katy Line ÃfffÃf,Ã,¢ÃffÃ,¢,Ãf,Ã,¬” now the Union Pacific ÃfffÃf,Ã,¢ÃffÃ,¢,Ãf,Ã,¬” and still one of the main north-south freight rail lines to Texas. Children enjoy seeing the hundreds of trucks passing down US-69 enroute back and forth to the Mexican border; it’s the shortest route from the Midwest manufacturing areas to Laredo. Pryor hosts several annual activities popular with visitors including the Annual American Cowboy Traders Days, where vendors trade hats, chaps, guns, saddles, boots, Native American memorabilia. Oklahoma’s most scenic one day bicycle tour is DAM J.A.M. featuring fall fun rides of 30, 55, 71, or 101 miles. Catch the Fever Music Festivals has summer concerts occurring throughout the summer at their location just outside of town.

Fifteen miles due west of Newt Graham Lock and Dam is Broken Arrow, a suburb southeast of Tulsa. There is a historical museum and the Broken Arrow Community Playhouse for entertainment on rainy days. Of course, Tulsa is nearby for more sophisticated nightlife and dining. Vacation rentals in the area can afford easy access both to the lake and to the city’s exciting atmosphere. While in the Tulsa area, one should visit the Port of Catoosa, the terminus of the entire Arkansas ÃfffÃf,Ã,¢ÃffÃ,¢,Ãf,Ã,¬” Verdigris River waterway. Other small towns in the area include Coweta, Inola, Oneta, New Tulsa and Chouteau. All have local restaurants and needed services for the visitor. Children enjoy a new twist on the ‘License Plate Game’ in this area if you have them search for tribal license plates on the passing cars. Many tribal groups issue their own license plates to tribal members.

So, locate vacation rentals to suit your lifestyle, pack up the boat and the fishing gear and head for Newt Graham Lock and Dam. You’ll be praising this lovely area of Oklahoma for years to come.

Things to do at Newt Graham Lock and Dam

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Newt Graham Lock and Dam

  • Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Newt Graham Lock and Dam Photo Gallery

    Newt Graham Lock and Dam Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

    Surface Area: 1,490 acres

    Shoreline Length: 77 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 532 feet

    Average Depth: 16 feet

    Water Volume: 24,260 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1970

    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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