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Webbers Falls Reservoir is located in east-central Oklahoma north of Webbers Falls, a town named for seven foot-high falls on the Arkansas River. Managed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Webbers Falls Reservoir has 175 miles of shoreline and over 11,000 surface acres. The reservoir lies about three miles upstream from the historic falls where many steamboat captains were forced to offload cargo to get around the steep drop. At one time, this area was the most important steamboat landing between Fort Gibson and Fort Smith, with the Fort Gibson Stockade located on the upper reaches of the reservoir.
Situated in the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System, Webbers Falls Lake provides an observation platform and visitor facilities on the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam so that visitors may view the lockage of barges and pleasure craft. As a major part of the multi-purpose project to improve the Arkansas River and its tributaries, the Webbers Falls Lock and Dam was put into operation in 1970. In addition to flood control, the project provides hydroelectric power, fish and wildlife habitat, and recreation to the area. Webber Falls Reservoir's expansive acreage extends from Oklahoma's Green Country tourism region into the Kiamichi Country region.
The predominant species of fish in the Webbers Falls Reservoir are catfish, white bass, black bass, crappie, bream, walleye, sauger, buffalo, carp, and a growing population of striped bass. Predictions for future striped bass are that they will reach weights in excess of 40 pounds in Webbers Falls Reservoir. Hunting enthusiasts can expect to find whitetail deer, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, cottontail rabbit, swamp rabbit, raccoon, mink, opossum, bobwhite quail, mourning dove, and a variety of waterfowl species.
There are several areas on the lake that offer boat ramps, including Brewers Bend, Greenleaf Cove, Hopewell Park, and Spaniard Creek. Hiking is available at Brewers Bend, along with picnic areas, group picnic shelters, and full hookup campsites. All run by the Army Corp of Engineers, these sites offer camping. Limited vacation rentals are available around Webbers Falls Reservoir. For a more permanent stay, check out the real estate available around Webbers Falls Reservoir in Webbers Falls and Gore.
Steeped in history, the Webbers Falls area was home to a salt mine as early as 1820. Salt was shipped down the Arkansas River to Louisiana until the Cherokee removal to this part of the Native American Territory. A western Cherokee Chief, Walter Webber, established a trading post and, in 1829, took over the salt works. The site of his post is present-day Webbers Falls. A post office was established in Webbers Falls in 1856 and the town flourished until the Civil War, when it was burned by Federal troops in 1863. Rebuilt after the war, the town continued to see heavy traffic on the Arkansas River until the coming of the Katy Railroad in 1872. From that point on the importance of the river diminished as the railroad took over.
Besides fishing and hunting, outdoor activities at Webbers Falls Reservoir include boating, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, picnicking, and camping. The lake is located in a beautiful part of Oklahoma with mild temperatures in the winter months and average to warm temperatures during the summer. There is a great deal of rain around the lake making it a lush paradise that attracts visitors during early spring, when the flowering trees and shrubs are in full bloom. Any time of year is a good time to visit Webbers Falls Reservoir.
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