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Lake Dardanelle

This U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir extends into five counties and covers nearly 35,000 surface acres along the Arkansas River. Its recreation areas and fishing possibilities make this lake a popular one for residents and visitors. Several state parks and camp sites along the lake also make it convenient for overnight stays. The fishing tournament weigh-in pavilion in Russellville is a world-class act and the first of its kind in the nation.


Lake Dardanelle is more of a riverine environment than a lake, which affects the fishing in this reservoir. Relatively shallow, Lake Dardanelle also has just about any structure available that anglers would want to fish. As host to many bass tournaments, this lake appeals to anglers who are hunting for trophy bass. White bass is native, and the lake is stocked with crappie and largemouth bass. This lake also may be one of the best striper pools in the state, with twenty-pound or larger stripers possible.

A state record shows a two-pound, ten-ounce Skipjack herring in 2004. Big catfish also are a favorite goal for some anglers here. Over 95 species of fish populate this lake. Be sure to visit Lake Dardanelle State Park's visitor center, where you can view some of the species in this lake in their aquariums.


  Search Lake Dardanelle Resources
    Lake Dardanelle Arkansas Coordinates:
35.2534N -93.2136W
Map It:
Lake Type:
Surface Area:
34,300 acres
Maximum Depth:
60 ft
338 ft
Normal Water Clarity:
10+ ft
Major City:
Little Rock
Little Rock


Lake Dardanelle is dotted with boat ramps for water skiers, jet skiers, and anglers. Many of the public boat docks offer full services, including motor rentals.


One of the reasons behind this lake's popularity is its easy access to reasonably-priced camping and lodging. Nine campgrounds dot the lake, some managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Plus, Lake Dardanelle State Park offers tent camping, and many of those sites are waterfront. This state park is divided into two locations -- one at Russellville, and another in Dardanelle. Both sites offer boat ramps.

Mt. Nebo State Park also is close to the lake, located west of Dardanelle. This park provides 34 camp sites and a pool. South of Paris, campers can find sites at Mount Magazine State Park (lodging, cabins, and camp sites) and at Cove Lake Campground. Other accommodations are available in Clarksville, Russellville, and Dardanelle.

Review the Lake Resource Guide for additional lodging.


Lake Dardanelle is situated between Little Rock and Fort Smith, and extends into Franklin, Pope, Yell, Logan, and Johnson Counties in Arkansas. Towns along the lake include Clarksville, Russellville, Dardanelle, and Paris. Although Clarksville maintains a municipal airport, larger airports are located at Fort Smith (61 miles) and at Boone County Airport, which is 80 miles from Clarksville. The largest city near the lake is Little Rock, which is 103 miles from Clarksville. Clarksville is the gateway to the Ozark Highlands National Scenic Byway via AR 21.

Fun times at Lake Dardanelle  Lake Dardanelle

Lake Dardanelle  Lake Dardanelle

Average Temperatures Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High  49 Avg. High  54 Avg. High  64 Avg. High  74 Avg. High  81 Avg. High  88 Avg. High  93 Avg. High  91 Avg. High  84 Avg. High  75 Avg. High  62 Avg. High  51
Avg. Low  24 Avg. Low  28 Avg. Low  38 Avg. Low  47 Avg. Low  56 Avg. Low  64 Avg. Low  68 Avg. Low  66 Avg. Low  59 Avg. Low  47 Avg. Low  37 Avg. Low  28