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
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.
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.