W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam, Oklahoma, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Kiamichi Country -

Also known as:  W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam 14

Located in eastern Oklahoma’s Kiamichi Country, W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam sits just a few miles north of Spiro, Oklahoma. The dam is managed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers — at almost 1,600 acres, the lock is a major water source on the Arkansas River. Years ago, the W.D. Mayo Lock occupied rough and rugged land identified as Native American territory. Today, still as beautiful as it once was, the Lock takes full advantage of its location just west of the Oklahoma-Arkansas border, providing hours of recreation and relaxation to those who frequent its shores.

Three areas have been developed along the W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam shoreline to accommodate boat ramps and lake access only. They are Arkoma Park, LeFlore Landing, and Wilson’s Rock. No other facilities are available at these boat ramps.

Fishing is very popular in the area, and anglers can expect to catch channel catfish, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, crappie, striped bass, carp, buffalo, walleye, bream, and various sunfish. If hunting is your sport, the game species available include whitetail deer, squirrels, turkeys, migratory waterfowl, rabbits, quail, and mourning doves. Both fishing and hunting regulated by the state, so check before participating in either activity.

Whether visiting in the spring or fall, the foliage around the lake is beautiful with redbud, dogwood, and wild plum all blooming in abundance. The reds and yellows of blackjack, post oak, red oak, hickory, pecan, walnut, sycamore, and sumac are stunning in the fall. On the western edge of the Ozark Mountains, W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam offers some of the most beautiful scenery in Oklahoma.

In addition to fishing and hunting, other activities at W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam include boating, camping, picnicking, water skiing, jet skiing, sailing, and wildlife viewing. Pets are allowed in the areas around the lake making it the perfect place to take man’s best friend.

Across the Arkansas River from Wilson’s Rock, the famous Spiro Mounds, a Native American ceremonial center that existed between 700 A.D. And 1500 A.D., call out to visitors. Opened to commercial excavators in 1933, the mounds were mined and badly damaged. In recent years, the University of Oklahoma has led an archeological salvage program to save the mounds.

Towns near W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam 14 include Spiro, Fort Coffee, Paw Paw, and Fort Smith (Arkansas). Fort Coffee, located upstream from LeFlore Landing, is the site of an important military post during the removal of the Choctaw from the eastern United States. Established in 1834, the post was abandoned only four years later because of peaceful conditions in the area. The site was then selected by the Choctaw Council as Fort Coffee Academy for Boys.

Fort Smith, Arkansas will thrill any history lover visiting W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam. Old Fort Smith, now a National Historic Site, was established in 1817 as a military outpost. It is now the location of the Old Fort Museum and of “Hanging Judge” Isaac C. Parker’s courtroom, where the court hanged 88 criminals and brought in almost 9,500 convictions. The courtroom has been restored along with a jail and the old gallows. When in Fort Smith, visit Miss Laura’s Social Club (now the Fort Smith Visitor Center) to see a restored former bordello. You can tour the Victorian mansion, which has been listed as the first bordello on The National Register of Historic Places.

Vacation rentals and real estate are available at Fort Smith and other towns around the lock. Make W.D. Mayo Lock and Dam home base as you have fun on the water and visit the historic towns that ring the lake. Go in the fall and you just may see one of the best fall color changes in the South.

Things to do at W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish species found at W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam Photo Gallery

    W. D. Mayo Lock and Dam Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

    Surface Area: 1,595 acres

    Shoreline Length: 50 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 413 feet

    Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 391 feet

    Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 414 feet

    Average Depth: 10 feet

    Water Volume: 15,768 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1970

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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.

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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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