Stockton Lake, Missouri, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Stockton Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Stockton Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Stockton Lake

Stockton Lake is a popular recreational reservoir covering 24,900 acres on the western edge of the scenic Missouri Ozarks. Though perhaps not as widely known as some of the other lakes in the state, it’s a great choice for vacationers and all those who want to have some fun on the water and in the great outdoors. Stockton Lake was constructed from 1963 to 1969, when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built Stockton Dam, blocking the Sac River and Little Sac River and creating this beautiful lake. Stockton Lake reached its normal operating elevation of 867 feet above sea level in December of 1971. The lake includes a 298-mile shoreline and crosses three Missouri counties: Cedar, Dade, and Polk.

Stockton Lake was built to provide hydroelectric power and flood control to this area of southwestern Missouri. In 1998 the lake became an additional source of drinking water for the City of Springfield, about 50 miles southeast. It is best known for its wide range of recreational activities: fishing, boating, water sports, swimming, sailing, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, and hunting – to name a few. Anglers flock to Stockton Lake for catches of crappie, black bass, white bass, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, catfish, and bluegill. The lake is known to be especially good for walleye fishing.

Even if you’re not an avid angler, there are many ways to enjoy its expansive waters. Take a relaxing boat ride to explore the lake’s numerous coves. If you prefer a faster pace, you can go water skiing, windsurfing, or jet skiing. Scuba diving is also a popular lake activity with visibility up to 25 feet, depending on the time of year. And if you like sailing, you’ll love Stockton Lake. Known as one of the best sailing lakes in Missouri, its windy expanse provides great sailing conditions. If you’ve never tried sailing before, you can book private sailing lessons.

Stockton Lake has a variety of parks and campgrounds, making a visit to the lake both convenient and enjoyable. Stockton State Park is located on the peninsula that separates the two arms of the lake. This 2,176-acre park includes a campground, cabins, restaurant, and marina. The park also contains other amenities such as boat launches and a swimming beach. In addition to the State Park, there are 14 other recreation areas around the lake; 12 are managed by the Corps of Engineers, and the other two are managed by full-service marinas. The Corp of Engineers and marinas also provide camping facilities. Most campgrounds have lantern hanging posts, picnic tables, fire rings, shower buildings, and dump stations. Three marinas are the only commercial development on the lake.

The Stockton Lake area also offers many off-water activities. The Equestrian Trail, 15 miles long, provides a great place for horseback riding. Hiking, golfing, and hunting are also popular. All public lands are open to hunting, except the parks and waterfowl refuge, which is managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Hunters can find quail, dove, rabbit, turkey, deer, ducks and geese.

Stockton Lake and nearby towns host some interesting yearly events. The Stockton Yacht Club hosts a variety of sailing races. Other unique and fun events in the area include a bluegrass festival and the Black Walnut Festival. Birders and wildlife lovers will enjoy the Eagles Day event in January – with a great chance to spot the fascinating and majestic bald eagle.

At Stockton Lake, the opportunities for having fun are endless. If you enjoy fishing, camping, sailing, water skiing, or scuba diving, you’re sure to make great memories at Stockton Lake.

Things to Do at Stockton Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Scuba Diving
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Stockton Lake

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

Find Places to Stay at Stockton Lake

If you’re considering a Stockton Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Stockton Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Stockton Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Stockton Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 24,900 acres

Shoreline Length: 298 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 867 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 892 feet

Maximum Depth: 105 feet

Water Volume: 875,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1971

Water Residence Time: 1.2 years

Drainage Area: 1,160 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Stockton Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


Advertise Your Stockton Lake Business or Vacation Rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer businesses the opportunity to advertise and homeowners and property managers the ability to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily. If you would like additional details, please contact our advertising team.


Looking for the Stockton Lake Forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here. We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

Stockton Lake Photo Gallery

New photos coming soon!

Spread the word! Share our Stockton Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!