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Prior to the first white settlement, the Smith Fork region of the Platte River country was largely inhabited by the Missouri Indian Tribe. Once one of the most powerfull Indian tribes in the region, it was this tribe that lent its name to the Missouri River. One of the first settlers in the Little Platte Valley was Humphrey Smith. Smith found a suitable fall in the creek and built a water powered mill, the first flour mill in Clay County. A town eventually grew up around the mill and the village became known as Smith's Mill. The site later became present day Smithville.
Smithville Dam is constructed of 3,200,000 cubic yards of rolled earth, 12,000 cubic yards of concrete, is 4,000 feet long and stands 90 feet above the streambed. The dam's impervious core consists of highly compacted clay that is virtually water tight. The outlet works, consisting of the control tower, conduit and stilling basin, permits the controlled release of water through the dam. The control tower is equipped with two hydraulically operated gates which regulate the flow of water through the conduit. The stilling basin reduces the force of the water flowing downstream into the river channel.
The US Army Corps of Engineers began impounding Smithville Lake in 1979. At a normal operational level of 864.20 feet, the lake covers 7,190 surface acres and 18 miles of the Little Platte Valley from the damsite to the city of Plattsburg. Smithville Lake has over 175 miles of shoreline offering excellent fishing and boating opportunities. Five multi-lane boat launch ramps and excellent parking for trailers insure easy accessibility.
More than 4,000 of the lake's 7,190 water surface acres were left uncleared to provide the aquatic habitat that should provide excellent fishing for many years. Large mouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, flathead catfish, bluegill, tiger muskie, walleye and crappie are all native fish caught at Smithville Lake. Two full service marinas offer boat and slip rentals, gas, bait, and equipment sales. A total of 858 camping sites are available for tent and RV camping at Smithville Lake. Restroom facilities, hot showers and dump stations are available and reservations are accepted for groups. Smith's Fork Campground is operated by the City of Smithville and offers 82 full hookups for RV camping below the dam.
|Lake Level, Moon Phase and Weather||Last updated: Nov 27, 2014 11:00 AM CST||Data Provided by WeatherBug.|
|Lake Level 864.71||
Normal Pool Elevation 864.20
Smithville Lake Fishing Report 01/02/2013