Tenkiller Lake, photo by Steve Webber



Fees & Facilities:
Game Warden (County):
(918) 431-2562(Cherokee)
(918) 431-2552(Cherokee)
(918) 431-2550(Sequoyah)
(918) 431-2544(Sequoyah)

Impounded in 1952, Tenkiller is the only controlled impoundment on the Illinois River and can experience prolonged drastic lake level fluctuations.  Situated in the Ozark highlands, Tenkiller is a deep, clear lake dominated by a shoreline with rocky bluffs and outcroppings.  There are numerous public access areas, including two state parks, and Tenkiller is very popular for all types of recreation.  Due to its depth, the lake provides cool water for the popular year-round trout fishery in the tailwaters.

Lake Tenkiller (Google Map) is located 10 miles south of Tahlequah on US 82 and S Indian Rd.

Lake Details

Shoreline Length: 170.00 mi.
Volume: 654100.00 ac. ft.
Max. Depth: 132.70 ft.
Surface Area: 12900.00 ac.


Cherokee, Sequoyah Counties

U.S. Corps of Engineers and Oklahoma State Parks manages campgrounds with full RV hookups, boat ramps and designated swimming areas.

Largemouth and smallmouth bass are subject to a 13-16" no harvest slot limit. Crappie must be a minimum of 10-inches and have a daily limit of 15.

Public-use areas provide easy access to the shoreline. Private resorts in the Burnt Cabin, Caney Creek and Tenkiller State Park areas operate fishing dock concessions.

Daily/Size Limits:

(Downstream from Horseshoe Bend boat ramp to dam)

Largemouth and smallmouth bass: six combined per day. Largemouth and smallmouth bass between 13 and 16 inches must be released. All crappie: 15 combined per day/10-inch minimum.


(Downstream from Horseshoe Bend boat ramp to dam)

Prohibited methods of fishing: gigs and spears downstream from Horseshoe Bend boat ramp: speargunning legal when used with scuba, except taking flathead catfish from June 15 through July 15 is prohibited.

Tenkiller Report

Jul 3. Elevation is 3.5 ft. above normal (falling), water temperature 85°F and clear. (USACE Lake Level)

Bass, Largemouth, Bass, Spotted Fair on crankbaits, flukes, spinnerbaits, topwater lures around brush structure, creek channels, points.

Bass, White Good on Alabama rigs, crankbaits, small lures around creek channels, flats.

Report submitted by Cody Youngblood (Game Warden Cherokee County)

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