How Deep is Lake of the Ozarks: 5 Incredible Facts About the Lake

Written by Nixza Gonzalez
Published: August 13, 2022
Image Credit Colton lee garcia/
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The Lake of the Ozarks is located in Missouri and is an incredible lake. It is in the Ozark Mountains and is absolutely breathtaking. Hundreds and thousands of people visit the mountain each year to take a high view of the river and its many branches.

Interestingly, the Lake of the Ozarks is man-made, but it looks breathtaking! Keep on reading to discover how deep the Lake of the Ozarks is and an additional five incredible facts about the lake.

How Deep is the Lake of the Ozarks?

The Lake of the Ozarks has a maximum depth of 130 feet.

The Lake of the Ozarks has a maximum depth of 130 feet. The lake’s depth fluctuates depending on where you are looking. Since it is such a deep lake, it is a perfect spot for fishing.

In the deep waters of the Lake of the Ozarks, you can fish for spotted bass, black bass, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. There is also catfish all-year round.

How Long is the Lake of the Ozarks?

The depth of the lake is not the most important part. Something interesting about the Lake of the Ozarks is that it is 93.21 miles long. Its shoreline is even longer at about 1,100 miles long. The bulk of the length of this Missouri lake comes from the Osage Arm, which stretches at least 90 miles.

This large body of water also sits at an elevation of 659 feet and extends into a few major counties and towns along the lake. The volume for the Lake of the Ozarks is 1,927,000 acre-ft.

5 Interesting Facts About the Lake of the Ozarks

Now that you know the length and depth of the Lake of the Ozarks, are you ready to discover interesting facts? Keep on reading to find out why thousands of people visit this large lake every year!

1. At the bottom of the Lake of the Ozarks is a sunken small town

During the 1920s, an entire town was submerged underwater with the creation of the dam.

Sitting below the Lake of the Ozarks is the old town of Linn Creek. This town was first created in 1841 and was very prosperous only a decade later because of the steamboat industry. Many people traveled through the town to make it through the Osage River, helping the town grow in population and interest.

The people who once lived in the town were unhappy when they found out that their town was going to be flooded and dammed over to create a new lake with the dam. In just two years, the buildings were knocked down or burnt, except for the town’s old cemetery.

2. Scientists have discovered piranhas living in the water

Piranha fish underwater
Piranhas are not native to Missouri, yet fishermen have caught some in the Lake of the Ozarks.

Jinny Jin/

Can you imagine swimming in your favorite lake, only to find flesh-eating and aggressive piranhas? Now, you may be confused as to how piranhas made their way into the Lake of the Ozarks. These large fish are native to the central and southern river systems of South America and not the United States.

While they are not native to Missouri, every few years, at least one or two are found in the water. Some people guess they were abandoned by aquarium owners. Interestingly, the water is said to be too cold for piranhas, yet residents of nearby towns have spotted them in the water for the last thirty years.

3. The Lake of the Ozarks is man-made

You may have guessed by now, but the Lake of the Ozarks is man-made. In August 1929, the construction of the Bagnell Dam started along the Osage River. It took at least two years to complete and is made with tons of concrete. The Bagnell Dam is a 2,543-foot-long concrete gravity dam created by the Union Electric Light and Power Company of St. Louis.

4. There are 70,000 docks in the Lake of the Ozarks

Black bears
Black bears commonly drink and hunt at the Lake of the Ozarks.


The Lake of the Ozarks is an extremely popular fishing spot. There are many fish species in the water and over 70,000 docks to choose from! If you have your own boat, fishing pole, and time, you will love the Lake of the Ozarks.

Even though there is a large fish population, these are not the only animals you can find along the lake and dam. There are a lot of birds, including the red-shouldered hawk. Not only can you find birds, but there are also bald eagles, black bears, beavers, and armadillos that enjoy the waters.

5. The nicknames of the lake are “The Magic Dragon” and “The Missouri Dragon.”

Did you know that the Lake of the Ozarks has multiple well-known nicknames? If you ever visit the towns and counties surrounding the massive lake, you may notice a pattern. Somehow, the artificial lake looks like a dragon or long serpent! Whenever possible, you should visit this stunning lake and see it from high above to spot “the Missouri Dragon.”

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About the Author

I have been a professional content writer for 6 years now, with a large focus on nature, gardening, food, and animals. I graduated from college with an A.A, but I am still pursuing a Bachelors of Marketing degree. When I am not writing, you can find me in front of my TV with a blanket, snacks, and my fur babies.

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