Tulsa Boat Sport And Travel Show latest 2023

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Skiatook Lake in Oklahoma

Skiatook Lake is located on Highway 20, 4 miles west of the town of Skiatook and 11 miles east of Hominy, Oklahoma, about an hour’s drive from Tulsa. This beautiful lake is surrounded by gently rolling hills of Blackjack, Post Oak and Tallgrass meadows.

Skiatook Lake is approximately 10,500 acres in size and has 160 miles of shoreline. The winding coastline is highlighted by picturesque steep cliffs that offer spectacular views.

History of Skiatook

The town of Skiatook originated in the late 1880s. There are conflicting historical records as to the origin of the name Skiatook. A story goes that the city was founded on land that was home to a prominent Osage Indian named Skiatooka. They called the community surrounding his home, Skiatooka’s Settlement. There is another story that the name was taken from Ski-A-Took which is a Cherokee word meaning “great injun me” or describing a tall man or a large expanse of land.

But what is generally accepted is that Cherokee Chief William C. Rogers founded Skiatook when he established a trading post in the Cherokee Nation south of Bird Creek. Skiatooka, the Osage Indian was a frequent trader at the post, which may be why his name was linked to the name of the town.

In the early 1920s, a road to Tulsa was paved. With good roads leading in all directions, Skiatook has become the gateway to all points north, south, east and west. Skiatook began buying water from Spavinaw in the 1930s, but when Skiatook Lake was finally completed in 1984, Skiatook had its own water source. Records show that the town of Skiatook has grown steadily since its beginnings in the 1880s. The population has increased by 93% since 1990.

On October 23, 1962, the Flood Control Act was approved by the 87th Congress. This authorized the construction of the dam and Lake Skiatake. It is one of five projects in the Bird Creek Watershed Plan. These projects were recommended to meet the water needs of the region. The purpose of building the dam and Lake Skiatook was for flood control, water supply, recreation, and fish and wildlife management. By the time the project was completed on October 31, 1984, its total cost was $120 million.

The dam is a rolled earth embankment with a length of 3,590 feet, including the spillway. It rises 143 feet above the creek bed. The embankment has a crown width of 32 feet. The uncontrolled spillway consists of a concrete weir in the right abutment. The bottom of the spillway is 100 feet wide and its crest elevation is 732.0 and has a rated capacity of 21,700 cfs. The outlet structure includes a lock tower with selective intakes; a 10.5 foot conduit cut into the right abutment served by two low flow locks 4.67 by 10.5 and a 36 inch water supply line.

Lake Skiatook offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation, including:

  1. Boating and Sailing

    You can motorboat on Lake Skiatook. Boaters can explore islands and coves that have natural rock outcroppings. There are isolated areas where people can go on family outings. Boaters can launch from public boat ramps or rent boats from the two marinas on the lake. The lake also has deep shores allowing sailboats to make the most of the available surface area of ​​the lake. The winds come from the south or the north, which gives the boats the opportunity to go up and down along the lake. Wave height is also minimized.

  2. Swimming

    The water is clean and clear, making it safe for bathers.

  3. Camping and picnic

    There are several lakeside camping areas that visitors can choose from. The most popular is Tall Chief Cove. The campsites at Twin Points and Tall Chief Cove have water and electricity. The same goes for Crystal Bay Marina, which is located at a point overlooking the lake. The Bull Creek Peninsula has more primitive campsites. The same goes for Armadillo Island. Stony Ridge Campground, located near the dam on Highway 20, can accommodate RV campers.

  4. Hiking

    Hiking trails are located within Skiatook Lake Wildlife Management Areas.

  5. Chase

    The shoreline surrounding Lake Skiatook is controlled by the US Army Corp of Engineers. It is the habitat of different types of wildlife like squirrels, rabbits, deer, some coyotes, quails, ducks and other native bird species. There are approximately 8,000 acres of land open to all hunters (in accordance with state and federal hunting regulations) at various times of the year.

  6. Fishing

    Skiatook Lake is well known for offering one of the best bass fishing experiences in the country. Bass anglers are always rewarded for their effort, whether they fish in the main body of the lake or in the flats upstream. The water is clean and clear all year round as there are no agricultural tributaries, wastes or chemicals. In addition, water releases from the dam maintain water quality downstream and improve certain types of fishing. Lake Skiatook is still in perfect ecological balance. Very little land was cleared during the formation of Lake Skiatook. Many trees remained standing in most creeks. This provided good habitat for fish as well as privacy for bass anglers. The lake hosts several fishing tournaments throughout the year. Skiatook Lake is becoming a hotspot for smallmouth bass. Tournament records showed bass anglers catching smallmouth bass weighing up to five pounds. Other sport fish include largemouth bass, black and white crappie, river catfish, flathead catfish, blue catfish, bluegill, carp, perch lake and others.

Lake Skiatook is a pristine body of water that is a paradise for fish as well as outdoor enthusiasts, especially bass anglers. It is perfect for people who want to commune with nature. So if you want to relax for a few days or more, come and visit Lake Skiatook in Oklahoma.

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