Pomme de Terre Lake, Missouri, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Midwest - Missouri - Central -

Also known as:  Pomme De Terre Reservoir

One of Missouri’s lesser-known recreational destinations is Pomme De Terre Lake. Construction of this reservoir was completed in 1961, although it had been in the planning stages since 1947. The new reservoir serves a critical purpose: to control periodic flooding downstream, which it does very well. It has now gained a second important purpose-that of providing recreational resources in western Central Missouri. Pomme De Terre Dam was built across the place where Lindley Creek and the Pomme de Terre River joined. The resulting reservoir stretched back along the two originating watercourses, forming an irregular and ragged ‘Y’-shaped lake. With well over 100 miles of shoreline, multiple parks and access spots assure plenty of recreational access for everyone.

One of the chief attractions of Pomme De Terre Lake is camping. At least nine different camping areas are distributed along the shore, with two of the largest situated within the two units of the Pomme De Terre State Park. Called Pittsburg Sate Park and Hermitage State Park, the two units allow for locations on both sides of the 7,800-acre reservoir. The two function separately but share general US Army Corps of Engineers oversight and a reservation system. Due to their popularity, reservations are encouraged on hot summer weekends. Both offer swimming beaches, playgrounds, boat ramps, showers, picnic tables and hiking trails. In addition to a boat ramp, Pittsburg Park holds a marina. Although Hermitage State Park closes during the winter season, Pittsburg Park stays open for camping with limited amenities during the coldest months.

Boating and fishing are big attractions at Pomme De Terre Lake. The marina at Pittsburg Park allows fishing from the fishing dock for a nominal daily fee. In addition to a snack shop and camping/boating supply store, the marina rents boats and bicycles, allowing visitors to travel light yet enjoy a full range of activities. Three other public marinas offer boat gas, snacks or meals, and a variety of services and rentals. Two also manage campgrounds, while one offers cottage lodgings on a nightly or weekly basis. Overnight slips with water and electricity hook-ups can be found, as well as seasonal in-water slips and winter storage. Watercraft rented run the gamut from ski-boats, fishing boats, pontoon rafts, canoes, two-person kayaks, pedal boats, stand-up paddleboards, jet skis and all of the recreational equipment to fully enjoy them, such as water skis, tubes, wakeboards and life vests.

Damsite Park near the dam is also very popular, providing camping, picnic pavilions, tennis courts, baseball and softball fields, playground, and hiking trails. Several other locations along both branches of the reservoir offer camping, boat ramps and a variety of concession-operated services. Other forms of lodgings can be found at the few privately-operated resorts at the lake. These long-operating resorts offer cabin rentals, motel rooms, restaurants and connections to fishing guides. Adjacent to the lake, the Pomme de Terre State Wildlife Management Area provides a wildlife refuge to the many forms of bird and animal life in the area.

One of Pomme De Terre Lake’s claims to some bit of fame is its reputation as a muskie fishing lake. The reservoir holds a wide variety of other species as well. The muskie don’t naturally reproduce in the lake, but the Missouri Department of Conservation has stocked them regularly since 1966. Along with the muskie, anglers catch largemouth bass, crappie, catfish, bluegill and walleye. Brush pile fish attractors have been strategically placed in the lake to attract target species. The irregular shoreline and multiple small coves and inlets offer excellent fishing from nearly any watercraft, including pedal boat or canoe. Several fishing piers and bank fishing locations are available for those who wish to fish from shore. Two sets of fishing docks are maintained in addition to a spot on the east side of the dam . All are accessible to those with limited mobility. State fishing licenses are required, and all regulations are enforced by the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Pomme De Terre Lake is located about 30 minutes north of Bolivar and an hour north of Springfield. Much of the shoreline remains undeveloped and heavily wooded. Some areas have housing developments that skirt the edges of the required high-water setback as required by the Army Corps of Engineers and often have private docks to tie up their boats. A few property owners rent their homes on a seasonal or weekly basis, and there is often real estate for sale in the area. Even on the busiest summer weekends, lodgings are likely available at one of the many small lodges or inns in the area surrounding Pomme De Terre Lake. Branson is only two hours away, and the Speedway in nearby Wheaton is the site of regular dirt-track racing events as well as boat drag racing on a constructed water course. Pomme De Terre Lake is the ideal spot to serve as home base for a mid-Missouri vacation.

The name Pomme De Terre is the French term for ‘Earth Apple’, a reference to the ‘potato bean’ or ‘Indian potato’ which grows widely in the area along creeks and wet areas. Neither a potato nor a bean, the fleshy rhizomes of the apios americana are sometimes called groundnuts, but that is a misnomer; it is a root, not a nut. The root was widely harvested and eaten by Native American tribes indigenous to the area. The name was assigned by early French traders and explorers and stuck, becoming the name of the river.

You’re in for a treat at Pomme De Terre Lake. The reservoir is less commercial and more conducive to a quiet evening sitting under the stars around a campfire. That is, if the sound of those 40-inch muskies calling don’t keep you awake at night. Bring the fishing tackle!

Things to do at Pomme de Terre Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Playground

Fish species found at Pomme de Terre Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Muskellunge
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Pomme de Terre Lake Photo Gallery

Pomme de Terre Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Not Known

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

Surface Area: 7,821 acres

Shoreline Length: 113 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 839 feet

Average Depth: 69 feet

Maximum Depth: 95 feet

Water Volume: 243,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1961

Drainage Area: 611 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".

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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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