Oologah Lake, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Green Country -

Also known as:  Oolagah Reservoir

Located in the northeast corner of Oklahoma, in the Green Country region, Oolagah Lake hides a wealth of surprises for the visitor. Located just a half-hour northeast of Tulsa, Oolagah Lake has become a favorite of sail boaters due to the brisk winds and large expanse of open water. The lake was developed by the Army Corps of Engineers by damming the Verdigris River to provide for better navigation, flood control and water supply. In the process, the Corps developed one of the premier water and wildlife spots in northeast Oklahoma. Pronounced oo’-la-gawh, the name is a Cherokee word meaning “dark cloud. Anyone having experienced on of the severe windstorms that can brew quickly in this area holds the name as appropriate.

This area of Oklahoma is historical due to the interchange of Native Americans and European settlers early in the 1800s. The eastern Oklahoma area was officially known as “Indian Territory” and a great many tribal groups were moved to the area in the mid 1800s. It was here that the infamous Cherokee Trail of Tears ends as the Cherokee were removed from their traditional lands in the Southeast. The Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole in the area were called, somewhat prejudicially, the “five civilized tribes” because of their willingness to assimilate into the white culture. They soon owned much of the land in the area around what is now Oolagah Lake. Into this blended society, Will Rogers was born near Oolagah to part-Cherokee parents who owned a prosperous ranch. His father was a Senator, humanitarian and Cherokee leader. Will became one of America’s greatest newspapermen, radio stars, rodeo attractions and silent film actors but was most revered for his common-sense philosophy. He was one of the world’s most celebrated humorists and commentators. His death was mourned by millions when he was killed in a plane crash in 1935. Will always considered himself a Native American and did much to promote tolerance and understanding between all races. Much of the family ranch now lies under the waters of Oolagah Lake but the ranch house still stands on the banks as a public museum and monument to a great American.

The majority of the shoreline of Oolagah Lake is owned by the Army Corps of Engineers and managed as public lands for wildlife preservation and water quality protection. Several public use areas provide improved campsites. All include nature trails and walking access to the water. Some trail routes are set aside for those on horseback. Two marinas are operated by concession and provide for watercraft rentals including personal watercraft. Oolagah Lake is the perfect place to spend the day or a week or a month. All types of watercraft are allowed and water sports are a favored activity. Sailing and windsurfing are favorites. For those left on shore, there are plentiful picnic areas, including grills or visitor may choose to purchase food from venders authorized by permit.

Fishing is always a favorite activity at Oolagah Lake. Large mouth bass, white crappie, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, blue gill, sand bass, walleye, striped bass hybrids and blue catfish are caught. Locals say the northern reaches are great for shallow water fishing, with deeper water in the southern half of the lake. Areas around the dam in the tail waters are also reputed to be excellent. Nearly all public areas of the shore have a public boat ramp to provide easy boat access. Areas north of the lake are set aside as wildlife management areas. The public hunting areas have quail, prairie chicken, turkey, squirrel, rabbits, dove, duck, geese and deer in season by legal hunting license. Non-game species, such as coyotes, raccoon, fox and bobcat are often seen. Bald eagles often winter at the lake and shorebirds stop on their spring and fall migration route.

Oolagah Lake isn’t the sole attraction in the area: historic Route 66, called The Mother Road, runs through Claremore south of the lake. Surviving sections of the old road are filled with the relics of America’s original love affair with the automobile. Tourist attractions and historic lodgings sprang up along the old route and flourished until the traffic was diverted to Interstate 44. Route 66 hobbyists enjoy looking for old landmarks, signs and businesses that still remain. Main Street in Claremore is a part of the old route and is home to over 300 antique and collectible dealers. Historical restorations are on-going. Other ‘must see’ locations are J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum, The Will Rogers Hotel with it’s famed mineral baths and The Belvidere Mansion. Nearby, on the shores of Oolagah Lake, is Will Rogers Memorial and Birthplace Ranch.

Surrounding Rogers County has many attractions such as Will Rogers Raceway, Oak Hills Winery, Talala Historical Museum, the Oklahoma Maritime Educational Center & Park at the Port of Catoosa, the Arkansas River Historical Society Museum and much, much more. There are plenty of golf courses in the area to please the avid golfer. Vacation rentals are available in Nowata, Oolagah, Claremore and Tulsa. Many newer developments in the area offer condos and all types of real estate. And there are many one-of-a-kind lodgings such as Bed-and Breakfasts along Old Route 66 just a short distance from Oolagah Lake

With Tulsa only a few minutes away, visitors can take their pick of specialty restaurants and nightlife offerings after spending the day at Oolagah Lake. Tulsa is well-supplied with museums, learning opportunities and the Arts. Some of the more well-known are Gilcrease Museum , Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium, Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum and Tulsa Children’s Museum.

When looking for a unique vacation spot, don’t overlook the northeast corner of Oklahoma. Oolagah Lake is waiting for you. Bring the sailboat, the fishing rods and the kids. You may find yourself returning year after year.

Things to do at Oologah Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Antiquing

Fish species found at Oologah Lake

  • Bass
  • Blue Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Walleye
  • White Bass
  • White Crappie

Oologah Lake Photo Gallery

Oologah Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 29,460 acres

Shoreline Length: 209 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 638 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 592 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 661 feet

Average Depth: 19 feet

Water Volume: 552,219 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1974

Drainage Area: 4,339 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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