About Norfork Lake

Norfork Lake, a popular tourist attraction in North Central Arkansas, is also one of the major recreation centers for this area. Norfork is home to one of the largest Federal trout hatcheries east of the Rockies, and is renowned for its rainbow trout. Over 550 miles of shoreline surround the lake along with 20 developed parks, which make Norfork popular for boating, hiking, hunting, sight seeing, skin diving, swimming, and water skiing.

Norfork Lake was formed with the construction of the dam which was initiated in 1941 and completed in 1944. Norfork Dam lies on North Fork River, at river mile 4.8, which is 4 miles northeast of Norfork, Arkansas. Completion of the powerhouse and switchyard came in October 1949, while in 1944, commercial generation first began. Estimated cost of the complete Norfork construction project was $28,600,000.

Norfork Lake is one of four multiple-purpose projects constructed in the upper White River Basin for the control of floods and the generation of hydro electric power. As with the other three projects, Norfork also provides excellent recreational opportunities for people of all ages.

Norfork Lake consumes anywhere from 22,000 to 30,700 acres depending on water height, and has a maximum depth of 177 feet above the dam. Tributaries include Norfork River, South Brushy Creek, Big Creek, Pigeon Creek, East Pigeon Creek, and Bennets Creek. Water exiting the dam into the North Fork River, which then flows into the White River. Average elevation at the dam is 590 feet, while fluctuations vary from 6 feet low to 30 feet high.

The 550 feet of shoreline consists of limestone bedrock and gravel. Wildlife abounds in the surrounding area making hunting very popular. The lake provides fishing opportunities for almost all species of game fish, with especially good fishing for black bass and a renowned reputation for largemouth bass. The lake does not have a closed season and never freezes over in the winter.

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