Authorization: Flood Control Act approved June 22, 1936, Public Law 738, Project Document HD 308, 74th Congress, 1st Session.
Location: On the Salt Fork of the Arkansas River at river mile 103.3, about 12 miles east of Cherokee in Alfalfa County, Oklahoma.
Purpose: Flood control and conservation, including recreation and fish and wildlife.
History of Construction: Construction began in September 1938 and was completed in July 1941. The project was completed for full flood control operation and closure was made in May 1941. Impoundment of the conservation pool was started in May 1941 and was completed in November 1941.
Type of Structure: The dam is a rolled earth-filled structure and concrete spillway having a total crest length of 6,010 feet and rising to a maximum height of 68 feet above the streambed.
Spillway & Outlet Works: The spillway consists of a concrete-lined channel about 800 feet long and 310 feet wide located in the right abutment. Three ungated, concrete weirs are in the spillway channel. The weir crest elevations are spaced so that the drop between the maximum pool elevation and tailwater elevation is made in three equal stages. Spillway capacity is 101,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) at maximum pool. Four ungated 10 by 12-foot conduits pass through the upper weirs. Floods pass through these conduits and over the intermediate and lower weirs which are closed by stop logs. The capacity of the conduits is 13,600 cfs with the pool at spillway crest elevation. The elevation of the conservation pool is fixed by the elevation of the crest of the intermediate weir; the pool level automatically returns to that elevation following floods. The elevation of the upper weir is 1,138.5 feet. Two 36-inch-diameter motorized, gated bypasses provide control for small releases. Bank-full capacity below the dam is about 10,000 cfs.
Hydrologic Data: Peak flow for the Spring 2019 flood was 63,200 cfs. Combined volume for April 28 through June 30, 2019 was 913,104 acre-feet, which is equivalent to 5.31 inches of runoff from the drainage area above the dam.