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Ozark Lake

Ozark Lake is a 10,900-acre reservoir that is a major unit in the development of the Arkansas River. Known as the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, this inland waterway system originates at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and runs southeast through Oklahoma and Arkansas to the Mississippi River. The dam at Ozark Lake also is known as Lock 12, or the Ozarka-Jeta Taylor Lock.


Ozark Lake's cool waters offer great fishing for catfish, bream, crappie and bass. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocked the lake with striped sea bass and walleyed pike.


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    Ozark Lake Arkansas Coordinates:
35.4436N -93.8469W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
10,900 acres
Maximum Depth:
203 ft
372 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
3 ft
Major City:
Fort Smith
Fort Smith


Boat ramps are available at all but two of the thirteen recreation areas along the lake. All are operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers except for Dyer Ramp, Hicks Creek ramp, and the ramp at Ozark City Park.


There are thirteen recreation areas along the banks of Ozark Lake, and nine of those areas hold over 150 camp sites. Additionally, to the northwest, Devil's Den State Park is located approximately one hour from the lake, depending on your location. This park offers fully-equipped cabins and tent camp sites. An Ozark-St. Francis National Forest area is located to the northeast from the lake, and that natural setting also offers a variety of camp sites. Lake Fort Smith State Park is located at the western end of this national forest, just north of Fort Smith on I-540. Visitors also can find other accommodations at Fort Smith in Sebastian County, including hotels, inns, and lodges.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Ozark Lake extends into Franklin, Crawford, and Sebastian Counties in Arkansas, and it is located just east of Fort Smith and its suburbs. Other towns along the lake include Mulberry and Ozark. Fort Smith maintains a public regional airport.

Fun times at Ozark Lake  Ozark Lake

Ozark Lake  Ozark Lake

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  49 Avg. High  54 Avg. High  63 Avg. High  73 Avg. High  79 Avg. High  87 Avg. High  92 Avg. High  92 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  73 Avg. High  62 Avg. High  50
Avg. Low  29 Avg. Low  32 Avg. Low  40 Avg. Low  49 Avg. Low  59 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  70 Avg. Low  69 Avg. Low  61 Avg. Low  50 Avg. Low  40 Avg. Low  31