Skiatook Lake, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Green Country -

Also known as:  Skiatook Reservoir

Scenic Skiatook Lake covers 10,500 acres in northern Oklahoma’s Green Country, just 30 minutes from Tulsa. The lake’s 160 miles of shoreline are surrounded by picturesque bluffs, hills of Blackjack and Post Oak, and tall grass prairies. Located in Osage County, Skiatook Lake is often referred to as the “Lake of the Osage” and “The Gateway to Osage.” The origin of the Skiatook name is attributed to the Osage Native American, Skiatooka, who was a frequent trader at the local trading post which became the town of Skiatook.

Construction of Skiatook Lake was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1962. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created the reservoir from 1974 to 1984 by constructing a dam on Hominy Creek, which is the principal tributary of Bird Creek. The Skiatook Lake project protects about 100,000 acres downstream in the flood plain of Hominy Creek, Bird Creek, and the Verdigris River. In addition to flood control, Skiatook Lake provides water to nearby towns, fish and wildlife management, and plentiful recreational opportunities such as boating, fishing, swimming, camping, picnicking, and hunting.

Peaceful scenery and great outdoor fun are trademarks of Skiatook Lake. Visitors who want to relax can soak in the sun’s rays at one of the three swimming beaches, or take a leisurely boat ride around the lake. There are ten recreation areas situated around the lake, eight of which are managed by the Corps of Engineers. Most of the recreation areas provide boat ramp access to the lake. The Corps also offers both primitive camping and modern camping with water and electric hook-ups, and there are even primitive campsites on Armadillo Island. An RV campsite is located near the dam on Highway 20.

Water sports lovers of all types – whether they be boaters, sailors, or water skiers – are sure to enjoy the expansive waters of Skiatook Lake. The lake’s islands, secluded coves, and natural rock outcroppings provide many opportunities for exploration by boat. Boaters can access the lake from either a Corps-operated boat ramp or at one of the lake’s two full-service marinas. Sailing is also a popular activity on Skiatook Lake, as the water depth and wind conditions make it perfect for this aquatic sport. There’s even a club, the Edward Teach Yacht Club, for avid boaters and sailors at Skiatook Lake.

Fishing is another popular activity on Skiatook Lake. Fish species include largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, channel catfish, crappie, and sunfish. Various fishing tournaments take place throughout the year. Whether you like to cast off from the shore or spend a day on the lake fishing from a boat, Skiatook Lake can provide a great fishing experience.

Hunting is also popular at Skiatook Lake. Public hunting grounds are managed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Skiatook Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which is administered by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Management. The Skiatook WMA covers more than 5,000 acres at the upper portion of the lake; 1,800 of these acres are water acres. Area game include white-tailed deer, dove, quail, rabbit, squirrel, duck, and turkey.

The Skiatook Lake area is a great place to vacation. Besides all the outdoor recreation that the lake area has to offer, the nearby towns also provide some great activities, especially the city of Tulsa. Tulsa has many attractions – museums, an aquarium and a zoo, ballet and opera performances, and many other forms of entertainment. Visitors to Skiatook Lake may also enjoy taking part in some of the area’s unique and fun events, such as the “Fantasy in the Sky” fireworks bash, held around the fourth of July, and the annual bluegrass festival. Although there is no private lakefront development, nearby residential developments provide spectacular lake views.

So pack your bags and plan to spend some time under the Oklahoma sun. Skiatook Lake will provide plenty of “R&R” away from your busy daily schedules.

Things to do at Skiatook Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Fishing Tournaments
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at Skiatook Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish

Skiatook Lake Photo Gallery

Skiatook Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 10,500 acres

Shoreline Length: 160 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 714 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 657 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 729 feet

Average Depth: 31 feet

Maximum Depth: 80 feet

Water Volume: 322,700 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1984

Water Residence Time: 18 months

Drainage Area: 354 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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