Authorization: Flood Control Act approved October 23, 1962, Public Law 87-874, 87th Congress, 2d session, Senate Document 143, 87th Congress, 2d Session.
Location: On the Arkansas River at river mile 653.7, about 8 miles east of Ponca City in Kay County, Oklahoma.
Purpose: Flood control, hydropower, navigation, water supply, water quality, recreation, and fish and wildlife.
History of Construction: Construction began in June 1966 and the project storage began in April 1976.
Type of Structure: The dam is a rolled earth-filled embankment 9,466 feet long, including the spillway, and rises about 125 feet above the streambed. The embankment top is 32 feet wide and has a 24-foot-wide, bituminous-surfaced road.
Spillway & Outlet Works: The gate-controlled concrete valley spillway is an ogee weir and includes a stilling basin and outlet works. Total length of the spillway, excluding the non-overflow sections, is 400 feet, with flow over the spillway controlled by eight 50- by 47-foot tainter gates. The spillway structure is located in the right abutment and has a design capacity of 653,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Low-flow facilities consist of two 5-foot 8-inch by 10-foot sluices located through two intermediate piers with a design capacity of approximately 8,000 cfs. The sluice gates are operated by OMPA (Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority). A 48-inch-diameter water supply pipe is located in the right non-overflow. Channel capacity at the dam is about 60,000 cfs.
Power Intake Structure: A powerhouse with one 20‑foot-diameter penstock were incorporated into the original construction of the spillway. Construction of the generating facilities began in August 1987. Power generation began in August 1989. The power house is operated by OMPA and has a release capacity of ~5,600 cfs near top of conservation pool and has a generation capacity of ~35,000 kW.
Hydrologic Data: The flood of April 28 through June 30, 2019 had a volume of 5,075,592 acre-feet, which is equivalent to 14.31 inches of runoff. Peak inflow to the lake was 165,800 cfs. The flood in October of 1986 had a peak inflow of 185,700 cfs.