Okatibbee Lake, Mississippi, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Mississippi - Pines Region -

Okatibbe Lake, located a few miles northwest of Meridian in the Pines Region of eastern Mississippi, is a nature lover’s retreat and water enthusiast’s playground. Situated in Lauderdale County off of State Highway 19, Okatibbe Lake offers 28 miles of shoreline as well as five swimming beaches and a water park. Recreational activities are numerous and include swimming, camping, hunting, fishing, wild life viewing, picnicking and boating.

Okatibbee Lake was created by impounding the Okatibbe Creek as a U.S. Corps of Engineers project. Authorized by Congress in 1962 primarily for flood reduction, the earthen constructed Okatibbee Dam now stands 72 feet high and stretches 6,620 feet long. Upon completion in 1968, Okatibbe Lake provides recreation and drinking water purposes as well as flood reduction.

Fishing is excellent on Okatibbee Lake, with more than 20 fish attractors and several bream beds constructed in the lake. Largemouth and striped bass, catfish, crappie, and bream are some of the fish anglers enjoy sinking their lines in to catch. Both forage and game fish are stocked annually with the cooperative management of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

During the mild fall and winter weather, hunters come out to Okatibbee Lake’s public hunting areas where they enjoy the abundance of deer, rabbit, squirrel, ducks, geese, quail, dove and woodcock. A free hunting permit can be obtained at the Okatibbee Wildlife Management Office. As part of the wildlife management program and to promote population of nongame and game animals and birds, the Corps of Engineers and the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks plant food plots, place nesting boxes, clear brush selectively, and plant mud flats with grain during low water. Over 6,000 acres of land are licensed to the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks for management purposes.

The beautiful bottomland forest surrounding Okatibbee Lake is a nature lover’s paradise. In addition to game animals, lake visitors may spot the endangered American Alligator which is a permanent lake resident. Also during the migration seasons, Bald Eagles may be seen by observant bird watchers. The East Bank Damsite Public Use Area provides an overlook which gives a breathtaking view of the dam and lake and is another great palace to view wildlife.

Okatibbee Lake offers fun for the whole family. Lake amenities include ball fields, picnic tables, swimming beaches, volleyball areas, horse-shoe pits as well as numerous campsites and day use areas. Lake Visitors have the choice of two campgrounds the Twiltley Branch Campground run by the Corps and the Okatibbee Water Park run by the Pat Harrison Waterway District. Both campgrounds have electric hookups, water and restrooms. The Okatibbee Water Park has two waterslides, a children?s pool with small slide, and an inner tube river ride. The Water Park is also known as Splashdown Country. For those less inclined to camp Okatibbee Water Park also has a 25-room motel.

Visitors to Okatibbee Lake can sink their feet into the beautiful refreshing waters or sun on the many beaches. With all the Okatibbe Lake has to offer it is no wonder visitors return time and time again.

Things to do at Okatibbee Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Playground

Fish species found at Okatibbee Lake

  • Bass
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Striped Bass

Okatibbee Lake Photo Gallery

    Okatibbee Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

    Surface Area: 4,144 acres

    Shoreline Length: 28 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 344 feet

    Water Volume: 46,538 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1968

    Drainage Area: 153 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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