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Lake Hudson (Oklahoma) facts for kids

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Lake Hudson Dam
Country United States
Location Mayes County, Oklahoma
Coordinates 36°14′00″N 95°10′55″W / 36.23343°N 95.18191°W / 36.23343; -95.18191Coordinates: 36°14′00″N 95°10′55″W / 36.23343°N 95.18191°W / 36.23343; -95.18191
Construction began December 1961
Dam and spillways
Height 645 ft (197 m)
Creates Lake Hudson
(Markham Ferry Reservoir)
Total capacity nominal: 200,300 acre⋅ft (247,100,000 m3)
maximum: 400,000 acre⋅ft (490,000,000 m3)
Surface area 12,000 acres (49 km2)

Lake Hudson, also known as Markham Ferry Reservoir, is a man-made reservoir in Mayes County, Oklahoma, United States, about 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of Locust Grove, Oklahoma and 8 miles (13 km) southeast of Pryor, Oklahoma. It was created by the completion of the Robert S. Kerr Dam on the Grand River in 1964. It is managed by the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA).


GRDA began construction of the Markham Ferry Dam in December 1961. This was the second of GRDA's hydroelectric projects along the Grand River. The first was Pensacola Dam, which created Grand Lake o' the Cherokees. The Markham Ferry project was completed in April 1964.

Robert S. Kerr Dam structure

The Robert S. Kerr Dam structure is a concrete gravity and earth filled embankment with a concrete ogee weir spillway. The length is 4,494 feet (1,370 m), including the powerhouse,and the height is about 90 feet (27 m) above the stream bed. The spillway has seventeen gates, each 40 by 37 feet (12 by 11 m), operated by two traveling gate hoists. Its capacity is 609,000 cubic feet (17,200 m3) per second.

Lake description

The lake has a surface area of 12,000 acres (49 km2), a shoreline of 200 miles (320 km), and a "normal" level (being the top of its conservation pool) of 619 feet (189 m) above sea level. The normal storage capacity is 200,300 acre feet (247,100,000 m3). The top of the flood control pool is at 636 feet (194 m) above sea level. Kerr dam has a crest elevation of 645 feet (197 m) above sea level.

Power generation

The powerhouse has four hydroelectric turbines, providing a total capacity of 114,000 kW. GRDA states that an average year can provide 211 million kWh.

Lake Hudson also is the water source for the nearby Salina Pumped Storage Project.

Snowdale State Park

Snowdale State Park is located on Lake Hudson in Eastern Oklahoma. A variety of water sports are permitted. Other recreational activities are camping, hiking, swimming and volleyball. It is popular for bass, catfish, perch and crappie fishing. Facilities include a lighted boat ramp, swimming beach, playground, volleyball court, picnic tables, a group picnic shelter and a comfort station with showers. The park offers 17 RV sites with water and electric hookups and 20 tent sites. The campgrounds and restrooms are closed for the winter.

The park is about one mile (1.6 km) west of Salina on SH 20. It is 15 acres (6.1 ha) in area and was built in 1959.

Snowdale became the Snowdale Area at Grand Lake State Park. The Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation chose not to renew its lease on the property from the Grand River Dam Authority in 2019, shutting down the park.

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