Lake Arcadia, Edmond Oklahoma
Arcadia Lake is a young body of water. Initiated in October 1980, Arcadia Reservoir was impounded on the Deep Fork River approximately five miles east of Edmond. The lake was completed in 1986 at a total cost of $90,400,000, and was officially opened in 1987. The lake was constructed as a cooperative effort between the U.S. Army corps of Engineers and the City of Edmond.
Arcadia Lake was designed for a variety of functions. The four major functions are: 1. to supply the city of Edmond with water; 2. to control floods for the Deep Fork River Basin; 3. to provide recreational and educational opportunities for the community; and 4. to provide habitat for fish and wildlife.
Arcadia was stocked with fish during its construction. Stocking began with the earliest stages of the lake. The first stage was the stocking of an inundated 1.5 acre abandoned quarry located within the lake’s basin. This was done during the pre-impoundment stage, and included populations of channel catfish and bluegill sunfish. The next stage took place while the lake was filling. During this period, blue catfish were introduced. In the final stage, populations of florida bass were introduced once the lake reached conservation pool elevation.
During the daylight hours of summer this lake is a cesspool filled with every yuppie in Edmond & their $60,000 speedboats zipping around. Fishing the deep water is simply impossible until the sun goes down and the party boaters leave. This lake does however have a LOT of good fishing. Lake Arcadia was formed in 1987, so the lake itself is relatively young at around 25 years old. But.. before the lake was there the area was spotted with dozens of seldom fished year round ponds. The story goes that these ponds had monster catfish in them, and had been there for over a hundred years. When the lake was formed these ponds, and the fish in them, were absorbed into the main lake. That means even though the lake itself is only about 25 years old, the monster cats in it could be truly ancient monsters. I’ve personally seen a picture of the Arcadia record – a 74lbs blue cat, available for viewing at the bait shop on 2nd & Coltrane. There is supposedly one in there twice that size that no angler has been able to reel in, the bait shop owners refer to him as “Big Blue.”
The lake also has a very large Purple Martin colony on the south west portion of the lake during summer. They take up roost in the petrified forest coming up out of the water near the skull & crossbones area on the map. The lake has a very healthy population of frighteningly large beavers. I’m talking like the size of cattle. They’re scary. If you have a kayak stroll over to the “catfish goldmine” area and watch the shorelines, there are several beaver homes in that spot.
Summer fishing is fantastic for all species of fish in the lake, especially the big cats. They love shad, cut shad, live shad, whole dead shad, shad heads, shad tails, doesn’t matter they’ll eat it. Arcadia has a HUGE shad population. During summer shortly after the sun goes down they swarm at the surface of the lake for about 30 minutes. If you shake your spot light in front of the boat while you drive they will literally jump into your boat. The bait shop on 2nd & coltrane buys & trades gear for shad if you’re looking for an easy buck. Catching shad in Arcadia at the wrong time of day will give you a sore arm & an empty bait bucket, but at the right time you can fill a plastic trash can in an hour.
Winter fishing is possible, but slow. This 2011-2012 winter Skylar pulled in a 19” large mouth bass and I’ve been killin the crappie off the fishing dock, no cats since the weather turned icy.
The map is drawn from my own observations & depth measurements from my fish finder.
Be sure to read about the Acadia lake monster on post: Here
Click image for full size
Water Quality during winter in lake Arcadia is very poor. The fishing is horrible from Nov-April, visibility is extremely low as well.
Arcadia Large Mouth Bass:
Arcadia Channel Cat
Arcadia Flathead Cat
(Caught By Chuck Riney)