Waurika Lake, Oklahoma, USA
Also known as: Waurika Reservoir, Lake Waurika
Located on Beaver Creek, a tributary of the Red River, Waurika Lake was created to provide flood damage reduction, irrigation, water supply, water quality, and recreation for the Beaver Creek Valley. Managed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Waurika Lake originated in 1963, when the dam was authorized for construction. Today, boasting 80 miles of shoreline and 10,000 acres of surface area, the 11-mile long reservoir is one of the largest lakes in the
Great Plains tourism region of Oklahoma.
Waurika Dam is part of the Oklahoma Frontier Country and is situated just six miles northwest of the town of Waurika. For easy sightseeing, try the road that runs over the top of the dam and along several access roads at each end of the dam. With an irregular shoreline and sloping edges to the water, the lake offers scenic surroundings for relaxation, recreation and water fun. There are many activities to enjoy at Waurika Lake, and some of the favorites include boating, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, and sailing.
There are several recreation areas around the lake, including Beaver Creek Landing, Chisholm Trail Ridge, Kiowa Park #1, Kiowa Park #2, Moenca Park, and Wichita Ridge. Each site offers restrooms and all except Moenca Park have boat ramps. Campsites are available at Chisholm Trail Ridge, Kiowa Park #1, Moena Park, and Wichita Ridge. A swimming beach, showers, picnic area, group shelter, and full hook-ups can be found at the two largest recreation areas, Chisholm Trail Ridge and Kiowa #1.
Fishing and hunting are two of the top recreational sporting activities at Lake Waurika. Anglers feel a rush of excitement at catching channel catfish, flathead catfish, largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid striper, crappie, walleye, and sunfish. Hunters search the horizon for bobwhite quail, mourning dove, whitetail deer, wood ducks, mallards, pintail, teal, canvas back, cottontail rabbits, and wild turkey. Note that whitetail deer and waterfowl are only open for hunting in public hunting areas; contact the Army Corp of Engineers for locations and regulations.
Waurika Lake, which has large expanses of open water and a scenic shoreline, is an excellent lake for boating. Four large embayments and a number of smaller coves make for excellent sightseeing, and facilities offered around the lake make Waurika Reservoir a great weekend get-away for residents of Oklahoma and Texas. The lake is set in rolling prairies with croplands and timbered areas interspersed throughout, creating a scenic and peaceful setting. In fact, the beautiful surrounds have always been a priority, and when Waurika Lake was formed, officials took care to blend into the scenery — wherever possible, trees, shrubs, and other natural features were left intact so as to impact the environment as little as possible. This hands-off approach makes the lake seem like it has been there for much longer than it has.
The closest town to Waurika Lake is Waurika, named after a Comanche word that means “worm eater”. It presumably refers to a group of Comanche Native Americans that lived in the area before the introduction of early European settlers. Vacation rentals and real estate are available close to Waurika Lake.
Located on the original Chisholm Trail that connected the ranches of Texas to the rail shipping points in Kansas, Waurika Lake is steeped in history. But even for a history buff, the best reason to visit Waurika Lake is the water fun and recreational activities that abound year-round in a beautiful part of Oklahoma.
Things to do at Waurika Lake
- Vacation Rentals
- Jet Skiing
- Water Skiing
- Horseback Riding
- Wildlife Viewing
Fish species found at Waurika Lake
- Black Bass
- Channel Catfish
- Flathead Catfish
- Largemouth Bass
- White Bass
Waurika Lake Photo Gallery
Waurika Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 10,100 acres
Shoreline Length: 80 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 951 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 910 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 963 feet
Average Depth: 19 feet
Maximum Depth: 46 feet
Water Volume: 190,200 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1980
Drainage Area: 562 sq. miles
Trophic State: Eutrophic
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