Chouteau Lock and Dam 17 was primarily constructed for the improvement of the Arkansas River and its tributaries for commercial barge traffic but has three river park recreation areas nearby.
Recreation at Chouteau is managed by the Fort Gibson Lake Project Office out of Fort Gibson, Oklahoma.
Chouteau is the first lock and dam structure on the Verdigris River after the navigation channel leaves the main stem of the Arkansas River. The lock is approximately four miles northwest of Okay, in Wagoner County, Oklahoma. Lock 17 pool provides 18.7 miles of navigable waters, extending upstream to Newt Graham Lock and Dam 18.