Lake Eufaula (Oklahoma)

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Lake Eufaula
USACE Eufaula Lake and Dam Oklahoma.jpg
Aerial view of Lake and Dam
LocationHaskell / McIntosh / Pittsburg counties, Oklahoma, US
Coordinates35°16′51″N 95°31′47″W / 35.28083°N 95.52972°W / 35.28083; -95.52972Coordinates: 35°16′51″N 95°31′47″W / 35.28083°N 95.52972°W / 35.28083; -95.52972
Lake typereservoir
Primary inflowsNorth and South Canadian Rivers
Primary outflowsCanadian River
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface area102,000 acres (410 km2)
Average depth23 ft (7.0 m) (avg.)
Max. depth87 ft (27 m)
Water volume2,099,000 acre feet (2.589×109 m3) (full pool)
Shore length1600 mi (970 km)
Surface elevation585 ft (178 m)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Lake Eufaula, sometimes referred to as Eufaula Lake, is a reservoir in Oklahoma. It is located on the Canadian River, 27 mi (43 km) upstream from its confluence with the Arkansas River and near the town of Eufaula. The lake covers parts of McIntosh County, Pittsburg, Haskell and Okmulgee counties and drains 47,522 square miles (123,080 km2). Water sources include the Canadian, North Fork Canadian and Deep Fork rivers.[1] It is the largest-capacity lake in the state of Oklahoma with a volume of 2,099,000 acre feet (2.589×109 m3), a surface area of 102,000 acres (410 km2) and 600 miles (970 km) of shoreline.[2]

History[edit]

Congress approved construction of the dam and lake in 1946 to provide flood control, hydroelectric power, water supply, navigation and recreation. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began construction of the 975 meter-long (3,199 feet) Eufaula Dam wall in 1956 and was completed in 1964. President Lyndon B. Johnson came to Oklahoma to dedicate the dam on September 25, 1964. The dam holds back a lake area of over 412 square kilometres (159 sq mi). The hydroelectric power station was designed to provide 90,000 kilowatts of electric power from the lake waters.[1]

According to the Corps of Engineers in 2015, the Eufaula project cost $121.4 million, and has prevented nearly $575.5 million in flood damages since its completion.The lake attracts about 2.5 million visitors every year.[3]

Fishing at Eufaula Dam

Heavy rains in the spring of 2015 caused Lake Eufaula to rise so rapidly that the Corps of Engineers opened the flood gates and released water at rates as high as 48,000 cubic feet (1,400 m3) per second. This was the highest rate since 1990.[4]

Dam construction[edit]

Eufaula Dam
LocationEast of Eufaula, Oklahoma
StatusOperational
Construction began1956
Opening date1964
Owner(s)U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Dam and spillways
Type of damEarthen embankment, concrete gravity composite
ImpoundsCanadian River
Height114 ft (35 m)
Length3,200 ft (975 m)
Spillways11
Spillway typeTainter gate-controlled ogee weir
Spillway capacity465,000 cu ft/s (13,167 m3/s)
Reservoir
CreatesEufaula Lake
Surface area102,000 acres (413 km2)
Power Station
Commission date1964
Turbines3 x 30 MW
Installed capacity90 MW

Eufaula Dam is east of the city of Eufaula, Oklahoma. It is 3,200 feet (975 m) long and 114 feet (35 m) high. It is constructed with an earthen embankment and concrete. The associated hydroelectric power plant has three turbines, each rated at 30 megawatts, for a total installed capacity of 90 megawatts[5] The dam was approved by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1946 and construction began in 1956. In February 1964, the river was closed and The generators went operational in September 1964.[6] State Highway 71 runs across the top of the dam.

Standing Rock[edit]

Standing Rock is now covered by the waters of Lake Eufaula. The historic landmark stood in the middle of the Canadian river about two miles (3.2 km) below the junction of the North and South Canadians. When the lake is at its top level, 585 feet (178 m), the top of the huge upright rock is approximately 25 feet (7.6 m) below the surface.[7]

Recreational facilities[edit]

Activities at Lake Eufaula include boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, hunting, golfing and horseback riding. Picnic areas are scattered throughout the area. Facilities include marinas, boat ramps, swim beaches, tent and RV campsites, cabins, group shelters, restrooms, showers and an enclosed fishing dock.

A well-known tournament lake, Lake Eufaula draws anglers from across the United States to test their skills at catching largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, Kentucky bass, crappie, catfish, sandbass, stripers (below the dam), and other species.

Oklahoma created two state parks, Arrowhead and Fountainhead, to provide recreational activities and camping facilities at the lake. The tag line in their early advertising was, "Follow the fun to Eufaula." The state borrowed $8 million from the Federal government to build a lodge at each park. However, the lodges did not provide enough money to repay the loan, so ownership reverted to the Federal government. In 1986, the U.S. Economic Administration sold Arrowhead Lodge to the Choctaw Nation and Fountainhead Lodge to a group of private investors.[1]

Marinas[edit]

List of Marinas on Lake Eufaula.

  • Area 51 Marina
  • Belle Starr Marina
  • Duchess Creek Marina [8]
  • Eufaula Cove Marina [9]
  • Evergreen Marina [10]
  • Lake Eufaula Marina
  • No. 9 Marina [11]

Popular culture[edit]

The 2011 Jason Boland & the Stragglers song 'Farmer's Luck', written by Greg Jacobs, tells the story of how eminent domain laws were used to force farmers to sell their land to make way for the artificial lake.

'Choctaw Bingo' a song written and recorded by James McMurtry in 2002 says "He's got a quarter section up by Lake Eufaula. Caught a great big ol' blue cat on a driftin' jug line." The song was also released on the soundtrack for the movie 'Beer for My Horses.' It has also been covered by Ray Wylie Hubbard.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c O'Dell, Larry. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. "Lake Eufaula."Retrieved April 20, 2013.[1]
  2. ^ http://www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.4330 accessed 6-23-2010
  3. ^ Puit, Glen. "Eufaula Dam has Spent Half Century Protecting the Public." McAlester News-Capital. June 14, 2015.] Accessed November 17, 2015.
  4. ^ Tess Maune, "Water Pouring Out Of Eufaula Dam Most In 25 Years." News on 6. May 13, 2015. Accessed November 16, 2015.
  5. ^ "Eufaula Dam". Energy Justice Network. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Eufaula Lake". U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Archived from the original on 3 April 2012. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  7. ^ Muskogee Phoenix Standing Rock surrounded by myths and legends accessed 11-21-2011
  8. ^ http://www.duchesscreekmarina.com/ Duchess Creek Marina website accessed 3-24-2011
  9. ^ http://www.eufaulacovemarina.net/ Archived 2010-12-29 at the Wayback Machine Eufaula Cove Marina website accessed 3-24-2011
  10. ^ http://www.evergreenmarina.com/ website accessed 3-24-2011
  11. ^ http://www.no9marina.com/ No. 9 Marina website accessed 3-24-2011

External links[edit]