Pine Creek Lake, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Kiamichi Country -

Also known as:  Pine Creek Reservoir

Pine Creek Lake, flowing north to south in the Kaimichi Region of Oklahoma, covers 3,750 acres of recreation and wildlife paradise. Authorized by the 1958 Flood Control Act, the US Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Little River to control flooding, provide for municipal water supply and enhance recreation and wildlife habitat. Completed in 1969, the reservoir has 74 miles of shoreline consisting of mostly bays and deep inlets. The resultant habitat is a fisherman’s dream. In keeping with the Corps intention to improve recreational opportunities and wildlife habitat, the entire shoreline is held as public lands.

The Pine Creek Lake Game area contains 10,280 acres but there are eight additional park areas providing easy access for the public. Four of these have campgrounds and boat ramps. Two have swimming areas. There is also a fishing pier at the old Highway 7 bridge on the upper end of the lake. Although there is no restriction on water craft, fishing is by far the most popular activity occurring at the reservoir. And the fishing is excellent. The high ratio of shoreline to water area provides excellent fish production. Favorite game fish at the reservoir include crappie, white bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and various sunfish.

Many visitors simply enjoy the nature opportunities that are abundant around Pine Creek Lake. Here, they can combine a picnic and swimming with hiking along the two maintained trail on the west side of the lake: the River Ridge Nature Trail and the Little River Park Trail. A third hiking opportunity, the Billy Bell Trail runs almost the entire length of the east side of the lake. The old trail has been in existence since 1907 when it was laid out and marked by Billy James and his wife Bell, early settlers in the region. The trail continues south to where it joins the Tom Taylor Trail leading to the village of Wright City. In a time when all travel was by horseback or mule, these old trails were the highways through the mountainous terrain.

Some of the wildlife that may be seen along Pine Creek Lake’s shores are white-tail; deer, quail, raccoon, opossum, quail, eastern wild turkey, cottontail and swamp rabbits, coyote, beaver, river otter, bobcat, mink, bald eagle, geese and ducks and the occasional black bear. Hunting is permitted in selected areas by permit according to season.

Because the entire shoreline of Pine Creek Lake is public land, vacation rentals directly on the lake are not available. However, the area is a popular vacation, fishing and hunting area and many cabins and cottages available in the vicinity, some with views of Pine Creek Lake. The Kiamichi Mountains area is a very productive deer hunting area and lodgings are available year-round in most of the small surrounding towns and on local country roads. Less than 40 miles away, beautiful Broken Bow Lake holds Beavers Bend and Hochatown State Park close to its shores. Between the two lakes, many vacation rentals exist to chose from. The town of Broken Bow, nearby Idabel, Antlers to the west and smaller Rattan, Fort Towson, Hugo, Millerton and Valliant all also cater to hunters and lake visitors.

A well-rounded vacation, even at beautiful Pine Creek Lake requires at least some time spent exploring the surrounding area. And there are plenty of interesting and historical places to visit nearby. For nature lovers, there is the Beavers Bend Wildlife Museum, located at the entrance to Beavers Bend Resort Park, and the Forest Heritage Center, located in Beavers Bend Park. Or, Wildlife Heritage Center Museum at Antlers, the self-proclaimed deer capitol of the world. For the car buff, there is the Muscle Car Museum between Broken Bow and idabel. Six miles east of Broken Bow is the Gardner Mansion and Museum. The 1880 mansion is the former home of Jefferson Gardner, principal chief of the Choctaws, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum contains a large collection of Native American artifacts and art. Still standing on the grounds near the mansion is a 2,000 plus-year-old bald cypress tree, believed to be one of the largest trees east of the Rockies. When visiting Broken Bow, make sure to visit the privately-owned Indian Memorial Museum and its huge exhibition of prehistoric pottery and arrowheads.

Twenty-five miles from Pine Creek Lake, Idabel is a museum explorer’s dream. The small town holds both the The Autry National Center of the American West. Originally established by movie hero Gene Autry and others, the museum actually has three separate museums in one. One exhibit that is very popular is a history of country music. Also at Idabel is the Museum of the Red River; an archeological museum spotlighting the Red River area and local Native American tribes.

In Millerton, between Valliant and Idabel, the Wheelock Academy showcases nearly 200 years of Choctaw commitment to education: the Reverend Alfred Wright and his wife came west with the Choctaws, and in 1839, began a boarding school for girls. In 1842 it was absorbed into the Choctaw National School System and in 1883 a new academy was constructed which opened in 1884 and operated until 1955. Listed as a National Historic landmark, the Academy is on the Choctaw/Chickasaw Heritage Corridor being developed across southeast Oklahoma. A rainy day at Pine Creek Lake can turn into a thoroughly enjoyable educational experience within a 50 mile radius.

So, get the map out, dust off the fishing gear and thumb through the collection of vacation rentals. Then come on over to one of the most unknown and under-appreciated reservoirs in the entire state of Oklahoma. Make Pine Creek Lake a part of your family vacation traditions.

Things to do at Pine Creek Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum

Fish species found at Pine Creek Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Pine Creek Lake Photo Gallery

    Pine Creek Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

    Surface Area: 4,980 acres

    Shoreline Length: 74 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 438 feet

    Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 414 feet

    Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 480 feet

    Average Depth: 14 feet

    Water Volume: 53,750 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1969

    Drainage Area: 635 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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