Birch Dam and Lake, a multipurpose project for flood control, water supply, water quality control, recreation, and fish and wildlife, was authorized for construction by the Flood Control Act of 1962.
The project is part of the comprehensive plan for flood control and water conservation in the Verdigris River Basin. In addition to Birch, the plan includes construction of Copan Lake on Little Caney River, Sand Lake on Sand Creek, Candy Lake on Candy Creek, and Skiatook Lake on Hominy Creek, for control of the Verdigris River and tributaries.
The area in which Birch Lake is located was once occupied by prehistoric Indians and later was considered as Cherokee Indian Territory. In 1870 (through a series of treaties and negotiations) the Osage Nation relinquished control of the Kansas lands and were forced to move to this area. This land consisted of 500,000 acres in what is now Osage County, Oklahoma.
James Bigheart, who became one of the great Osage chiefs helped negotiate with the U.S. Government over mineral rights on the tribal lands. By an act of Congress in 1906, the Osage Nation retained ownership of minerals and the discovery of oil later made the Osages the richest Indians in the United States.
In 1905, the Midland Valley Railroad reached the present site of Barnsdall. A town soon began to develop and in 1906 a post office was established and named for Chief Bigheart. In 1921, the town was renamed in honor of T. N. Barnsdall who was considered the worlds first oil refiner and was the founder of the refinery at the present site of the Bareco plant at Barnsdall.
Three park areas located around the lake offer the public many opportunities for outdoor family fun and picnic areas, drinking water, restrooms, charcoal grills and boat launching ramps.
Boating on the lake is in accordance with state boating laws and Corps of Engineers regulations. Regulations governing operational requirements of boats may be obtained from the Skiatook Lake Office or from the Tulsa District Office.
Fish & Licenses
RV Parks & Campsites
Cabins & Lodging
Hotels & Motels
Tackle & Bait
Map & Directions
The dam site is at mile 0.8 of Birch Creek approximately one and one half miles south of the of the town of Barnsdall and about twenty miles southwest of the city of Bartlesville.
Directions to Lake Birch, Oklahoma.
Nearby Oklahoma lakes & rivers include:
North: Lake Hula
Northeast: Lake Copan
East: Lake Oologah
Southeast: Lake Fort Gibson
South: Lake Skiatook
Southwest: Lake Keystone
West: Lake Sooner
Northwest: Lake Kaw