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Arkansas State Parks---Lake Ouachita State Park
Crater of Diamonds State Park - 2000 Information

     Blakely Mountain Dam, which impounds water forming Lake Ouachita, is a feature of a comprehensive plan for the Ouachita River Basin being administered by the U.S. Army Engineers, under the direction of the Chief of Engineers and the Secretary of the Army. The objectives of the plan are flood control, navigation, recreation, and the production of hydroelectric power.

     The dam, located on Ouachita River, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, was constructed under the supervision of the U.S. Army Engineer district, Lower Mississippi Valley, at a cost of approximately $30,800,000 and was placed in operation for flood control in the spring of 1953 and power was first placed on the line in August 1955.

     The spillway, located about 1 mile west of the dam, protects the structure from overtopping by stored waters in the event all floods of record are exceeded.

     When filled to spillway crest elevation the lake extends up the Ouachita River Valley a distance of 39 miles, with a surface area of approximately 48,300 acres. The lake created by the normal power pool extends up the valley a distance of 30 miles and has a surface area of approximately 40,000 acres.

     The land and water areas of this project, which is located partially within the Ouachita National Forest, sustain important natural resources which become an inherent part of the project.

     To insure that these resources are developed to provide maximum sustained benefits for the greatest number of people, a plan has been completed for use as a guide in the management and development of the lake area and all its resources.

     The plan is based primarily upon land and water capabilities and provides for the conservation of project lands and waters, forests, fish and wildlife assets, and recreational areas, with full consideration given to soil conservation, malaria control, pollution, and the health and safety of the visiting public.

     Responsible Federal, State, and local agencies establish conservation guides used in the plan. State and local agencies and organized groups are also invited to participate in the recreational development of the lake for the public.