Hugo Lake is manmade lake located 7 miles (11 km) east of Hugo, in Choctaw County, Oklahoma, USA. It is formed by Hugo Lake Dam on the Kiamichi River 18 miles (29 km) upstream from the Red River. The dam is visible from U.S. Route 70, which crosses its spillway just west of Sawyer. Lake Hugo features approximately 110 miles (180 km) of shoreline and covers over 13,250 acres (53.6 km2), or 20 square miles (52 km2). Its normal pool elevation is 404.5 feet (123.3 m) above sea level and its normal storage capacity is 157,600 acre feet (194,400,000 m3). At flood stage its elevation is at 437.5 feet (133.4 m) above sea level and it is capable of storing 966,700 acre feet (1.1924×109 m3) of flood waters. The lake's primary functions are to provide flood control, water storage, and recreational opportunities.
Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1946 and Flood Control Act of 1962 construction on the dam began in October 1967. The US Army Corps of Engineers completed the project in January 1974 at a cost of approximately $37,000,000.
The US Army Corps of Engineers established Kiamichi Park on the lake just west of the dam site in 1974. The park was cut in half part of it still belonging to the US Army Corps of Engineers and the other was leased to the State in 2002 it was renamed Hugo Lake State Park. The park currently covers 289 acres (1.17 km2).
The south 8,000 acres (32 km2) of the lake nearest to the dam are clear of obstructions and provide recreational opportunities for watersports such as boating and water skiing. The state park provides cabins, hiking trails, and a 56-slip marina.
The north end of the lake is not cleared and contains dead tree stumps in the water. These stumps provide cover for the fish and ideal conditions for anglers. Hugo Lake features excellent crappie fishing and populations of bass and catfish.
In addition fishing there is also hunting and animal trapping at Hugo Lake. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation administers 18,000 acres (73 km2) at the lake, and the US Army Corps of Engineers manage 8,000. These areas are home to white tail deer, waterfowl, mink, fox, and beaver.
Controversy over water sales
In recent years Hugo Lake has been in the middle of a controversy regarding out-of-state water sales between Texas and Oklahoma. The city of Hugo had sought to sell water to the growing suburbs of Dallas that need new sources of water to pay debts related to the lake. Irving, Texas has entered negotiations with the Hugo to obtain a supply of fresh water by building a pipeline and purchasing excess water from Hugo Lake. In 2002 the Oklahoma state legislature passed a moratorium on water sales outside the state. Hugo sued the state in federal court citing that the state's moratorium is unconstitutional.
Hugo Lake State Park
On Hugo Lake the Hugo Lake State Park offers boating and fishing opportunities. The park offers 16 two bedroom resort cabins, 10 primitive cabins, a 56-slip full service marina with store, pavilions, picnic sites with grills and tables, and pontoon boat rentals. Hiking, biking, and nature trails are also on site. Tent camping is also available.
- Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Official State Highway Map (Map) (2005-2006 ed.). Section O7.
- "Hugo Lake", Oklahoma Water Atlas, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, available via http://www.owrb.ok.giv/news/publications/wa/lakes/Hugo.php.
- "Tulsa District Lake Info (Hugo Lake)". Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- "Corps Lakes Gateway: Oklahoma (Hugo Lake)". Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- "Hugo defends federal lawsuit over water sale". Retrieved 2008-10-30.
- Hugo Lake State Park
- Hugo Lake information and video on TravelOK.com Official travel and tourism website for the State of Oklahoma
- Oklahoma Digital Maps: Digital Collections of Oklahoma and Indian Territory