Size and Depth
At 578 feet above sea level the lake covers approximately 40,000 acres, Lake Ouachita is 40 miles long with an average depth of 50 feet and a maximum depth near 200 feet. Because the lake is used for power generation and flood control, lake levels may vary. During flood control, the lake may rise to 592 feet above sea level increasing the acreage to 48,300.
Completed in 1953, the lake is an impoundment of the Ouachita River. Several creeks including, Little Blakely, Big Blakely, Mill, Fisher, Cedar Fourche, Daley, North Fork, Walnut, Crystal Springs, Cedar, Story, South Fork, and Irons, provide secondary water sources.
Lake Ouachita is located within the Ouachita National Forest and has nearly 970 miles of wilderness shoreline. Lake Ouachita also has 100 uninhabited islands.
The lake bottom consists mainly of silt, rock and shale.
The water is relatively clear and unfertile. Visibility varies from as much as 30 feet in the lower lake to as little as 2 feet in the upper portion of the lake after heavy rains. During summer, the lake stratifies in the 20 to 25 foot range. In late fall, the lake turns over.
Much of the timber was not
cleared prior to the completion of the dam. The northern reaches of the
lake contain more stick-ups than the southern portion, but it is not
uncommon to find submerged timber in 80+ feet of water. Several
varieties of aquatic vegetation, including Milfoil, Elodea and Hydrilla,
offer excellent cover for both bait as well as game fish. The rapid
spread of Hydrilla has produced a large increase in the Chain Pickerel
population. Grasses and moss provide excellent cover for bream, bass and
~ FISHERY INFORMATION ~
Striped Bass, White Crappie, Largemouth Bass, Kentucky Bass (spotted bass), Walleye, Smallmouth Bass
Bream, Flathead Catfish, Blue Catfish, Channel Catfish, Alligator Gar, Chain Pickerel
Gizzard Shad, Threadfin Shad, Crayfish, Drum, Freshwater Shrimp, and a variety of other minnow species and small fish
Due to the lack of natural reproduction
of Striped Bass, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission actively stocks
the lake with fingerling stripers, and has produced a World Class Trophy
Striped Bass Fishery through the past years. Ouachita Stripers weigh on
average 7 to 14 pounds, while 20 to 30 pound stripers are numerous. In
Spring, 30 to 50 pound Ouachita stripers are caught with some frequency
by live bait fisherman.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Army Corps of Engineers are both taking active measures to control the spread of Hydrilla throughout the lake. Common Carp and the Pakistani Fly have been introduced to help control the spread. The Carp are intended to eat the vegetation and the Pakistani Fly Larvae eat the Hydrilla down several feet below the surface. These treatments have been introduced to several areas around the lake, but most specifically to high use areas, such as swimming areas.
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Striped Bass Adventures
Striper Fishing On Lake Ouachita
Hot Springs, Arkansas