Spavinaw Lake, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Green Country -

Also known as:  Lower Spavinaw Reservoir, Spavinaw Reservoir

The tiny town of Spavinaw, in Oklahoma’s Green Country Region, guards Spavinaw Lake – the principal water supply for the City of Tulsa over fifty miles away. Spavinaw Lake, sometimes called Spavinaw Reservoir is the result of a dam built across Spavinaw Creek in 1924. It is sometimes confused with the former Upper Spavinaw Reservoir a few miles upstream and now called Eucha Lake. There are similarities: both are the result of dams on Spavinaw Creek, both supply water to Tulsa, both have a State Park on their shore, and both abut the Spavinaw Wildlife Management Area.

Spavinaw Lake is reserved for fishing only. No water skiing or swimming is allowed on the reservoir itself. There are two boat launch areas located on the north shore just outside of town and a concession-operated marina. Several picnic areas with grills, rest rooms, a playground, fishing docks and many hiking trails encourage the visitor to get out and enjoy nature. Black bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, sunfish and white bass are the species most often fished for. The area around much of Spavinaw Lake is public lands. The Spavinaw Wildlife Management Area has dug several ponds and planted some food plots on the 14, 316 acres of land forthe benefit of animals. Primarily on the south side of Spavinaw Lake, WMA land stretches south and east til it abuts the dam area of Eucha Lake. This is a great place to watch wildlife but the hiker unfamiliar with the area should make sure to carry a compass or stay on the well-trod path: it is possible to get lost here in the Ozarks.

At the Spavinaw Lake dam just south of the town of Spavinaw is a small State Park that is a favorite of families with children. Spavinaw State Park is small ÃffÃ,¢Ãf¢,Ã,¬” only 35 acres. But it has an excellent swimming beach with shallow water, picnic areas with grills, playground, both RV and tent camping areas, showers and a dump station. Between the two public areas, there is something for everyone in the family.

The area around Spavinaw Lake is a favorite bird watching area. The quiet clearings within the Wildlife Management Area are excellent for viewing several types of warblers. In the winter months, bald eagles are often sighted. Avid wildlife watchers will often see Coyote, bobcat, raccoon, rabbit, fox and grey squirrels, turkey and white-tail deer. Bobwhite quail are seen in the prairie areas, and migrating birds often stop for a break at Spavinaw and Eucha Lakes. Several uncommon species of bat migrate through the area each year. Designated areas are open to hunting during the appropriate season.

Visitors looking for vacation rentals will want to check not only Spavinaw but nearby towns such as Hoot Owl, Kenwood, Chloeta, Strang, Jay, Pryor, Chouteau, Locust Grove, Adair and Big Cabin within a few miles of the reservoir. Vinita, about 25 miles away from Spavinaw Lake has specialty lodging opportunities such as Bed and Breakfast establishments among other choices.

Vinita, on old Route 66, is especially interesting. Although not established as a town until 1871, the Vinita area played a huge part in the struggles of the Cherokee after their removal to Oklahoma in 1838. It contains well-maintained Victorian homes, some of which are available for tours. Eastern Trails Museum has many exhibits detailing the establishment of the Vinita area, including early pioneer and Indian artifacts. The yearly ‘Calf Fry’ boasts the annual Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo, cowboy games, a cook-off, carnival and all sorts of entertainment for every age group. The tongue-in-cheek Calf Fry has a ‘steering committee’ which sends invitations every year to celebrities such as the Queen of England to act as judges and good naturedly jokes about the inevitable turn-down. For the uninitiated, a Calf Fry isn’t about frying calves-at least not the whole animal. In some circles, calf fries are known as Mountain Oysters. This is cattle country!

Other times of the year, Vinita holds Oktoberfest, a Summerfest Car show, a Christmas Parade of Lights and on-going historical activities in the downtown area. Not far from Vinita, the Civil War Battle of Cabin Creek was fought in 1864. The battle is re-enacted every three years and is a huge attraction to Civil War buffs. East on I-44 in Miami, there are several small Indian-owned casinos where visitors can try their luck. Miami is just over 40 miles from Spavinaw Lake.

Schedule a visit to the area around Spavinaw Lake. It’s an area rich in history, wealthy in recreation and absolutely loaded with quiet charm. Look for a vacation rental today, Fish ÃffÃ,¢Ãf¢,Ã,¬” and fun ÃffÃ,¢Ãf¢,Ã,¬” are waiting.

Things to do at Spavinaw Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Casino Gambling

Fish species found at Spavinaw Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Spavinaw Lake Photo Gallery

  • High resolution Oklahoma lake maps with fishing and other recreational information as well as a history of description of lake construction, ownership, size and other statistics.

Spavinaw Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Tulsa

Surface Area: 1,637 acres

Shoreline Length: 20 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 680 feet

Average Depth: 16 feet

Maximum Depth: 46 feet

Water Volume: 31,686 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1924

Drainage Area: 420 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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