Optima Lake

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Optima Lake
USACE Optima Lake and Dam.jpg
Optima Lake and Dam
Location Texas County, Oklahoma
Coordinates 36°39′57.39″N 101°8′12.44″W / 36.6659417°N 101.1367889°W / 36.6659417; -101.1367889Coordinates: 36°39′57.39″N 101°8′12.44″W / 36.6659417°N 101.1367889°W / 36.6659417; -101.1367889
Type reservoir
Basin countries United States

Optima Lake is a reservoir in Texas County, Oklahoma. The lake is located near the towns of Hardesty and Guymon in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

The earthen Optima Lake Dam (National ID # OK20510) was constructed in 1978 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, with a height of 120 feet, and a length at its crest of 16,875 feet.[1] Although designed to contain a maximum of 618,500 acre-feet, the lake has never reached more than 5 percent of its design capacity,[2] and now is effectively empty. Rapid declines in streamflow (related to large-scale pumping from the High Plains Aquifer) coincided with the completion of dam construction[2] to make this lake a dramatic example of unanticipated environmental impacts.[3]

The US Army Corps of Engineers states (emphasis added):

Visitors should be aware that the lake's level can be very low. Depending on rainfall and evaporation rates, the lake may offer no water-based recreation and may not be suitable for swimming, fishing, boating or other activities.[4]

Lake camping facilities and buildings have been dismantled for public safety by the Corps of Engineers as of October 2012.


  1. ^ http://ce-npdp-serv2.stanford.edu/DamDirectory/DamDetail.jsp?npdp_id=OK20510
  2. ^ a b Wahl, K & R. L. Tortorelli, 1996. "Changes in flow in the Beaver-North Canadian River Basin Upstream from Canton Lake, Western Oklahoma", USGS WRI 96-4304
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Optima Lake website


  • R. Lowitt, 2002. "Optima Dam: A Failed Effort to Irrigate the Oklahoma Panhandle", Agricultural History, 76(2):260-72

External links[edit]