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Wilson Lake (Kansas) facts for kids

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Wilson Lake
USACE Wilson Dam Kansas.jpg
Wilson Dam
Map of Russell Co, Ks, USA.png
Location Russell and Lincoln counties in Kansas
Type Reservoir
Primary inflows Saline River
Primary outflows Saline River
Catchment area 1,917 sq mi (4,970 km2)
Basin countries United States
Managing agency U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Built April 1961 (1961-04)
First flooded December 29, 1964 (1964-12-29)
Max. length 24 miles (39 km)
Surface area 9,045 acres (36.60 km2)
Max. depth 65 ft (20 m)
Water volume Full: 242,528 acre⋅ft (299,154,000 m3)
Current (Nov. 2015): 156,100 acre⋅ft (192,500,000 m3)
Shore length1 100 mi (160 km)
Surface elevation Full: 1,516 ft (462 m)
Current (May. 2019): 1,523 ft (464 m)
Settlements Lucas, Sylvan Grove, Wilson
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Wilson Lake is a reservoir in the U.S. state of Kansas. It is on the border of Russell County and Lincoln County. It was built and managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. It is also used for wildlife management and recreation. Several parks are along its shoreline, including Wilson State Park.


The Corps of Engineers planned, designed, and built Wilson Dam. They completed it in 1964 for $20 million.


Wilson Lake is at 38°56′25″N 98°33′24″W / 38.94028°N 98.55667°W / 38.94028; -98.55667 (38.9401464, -98.5567638) at an elevation of 1,516 feet (462 m). It is in north-central Kansas in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains. Most of Wilson Lake is in Russell County. A small part of its southeastern part goes into Lincoln County.

The reservoir is impounded at its northeastern end by Wilson Dam. The dam is at 38°58′00″N 98°29′41″W / 38.96667°N 98.49472°W / 38.96667; -98.49472 (38.9666777, -98.4947876) at an elevation of 1,588 feet (484 m). The Saline River is the reservoir's main inflow of water from the west. It is also the reservoir's main outflow to the east. Smaller tributaries include Elm Creek, which flows from the south into the western part of the reservoir, and Hell Creek, which feeds the reservoir's southeastern arm.

Kansas Highway 232 goes north-south along the reservoir's eastern shore. It also goes across the top of Wilson Dam. Shoreline Road, a paved county road, goes east-west parallel to the southern shore. It crosses the reservoir's southeastern part.


The surface area, surface elevation, and water volume of the reservoir changed based on inflow and local climate. When the reservoir is full, it has a surface area of 33,882 acres (137.12 km2), a surface elevation of 1,588 feet (484 m), and a volume of 1,666,995 acre⋅ft (2.056208×109 m3).


Wilson Dam is a dam that has a floor made of rock and soil. It is 130 feet (40 m) tall and 5,600 feet (1,700 m) long.

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