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Lake Carl Blackwell

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Lake Carl Blackwell is a family oriented recreational area. Our mission is to provide the Oklahoma State University family and general public with a variety of safe, enjoyable, educational and recreational opportunities while operating in a fiscally responsible manner. Lake Carl Blackwell Family Recreational Area is comprised of approximately 800 acres. The lake surface is approximately 3,350 acres in area. The area is maintained and operated by the revenues received from the sale of daily and annual use permits, merchandise, and rental of the facilities to the public. Rules and Regulations are promulgated under the provisions of OSU Policy and Procedures # 3-0180. All State of Oklahoma Laws and Statutes are enforced at Lake Carl Blackwell.

General Recreation Rules

1.01 Permits must be purchased for daily recreational use which includes hiking, boating, skiing, fishing, equestrian use and dog training. Additional fees are required for camping. Permits may be purchased at the Entrance Booth, Lake Office or at fee boxes throughout the park. Research or enforcement agencies of the University, city, county, state or federal government are exempt from this requirement when conducting official business or with written consent from the Park Manager.


1.02 All shoreline in the public recreational areas is open for public access.  A camping or daily use permit does not grant exclusive privilege to the shoreline of that camp site or recreational area.  Land areas designated for recreational use are lands that are contiguous and adjacent to the lake shoreline extending inland a maximum of 50 yards from the shoreline at spillway level. While the lake shoreline will remain accessible for general public recreational use, no overnight boat parking is allowed on the shoreline other than by the persons renting the adjacent campsite without that Camp Site Renters Permission.


1.03 Pets must be attended and kept under control. Dogs must be chained or leashed with restraints not to exceed 15 feet in length. All pets other than dogs or domestic cats must be approved in writing by the Park Manager before entering the park. Owners are responsible for disposal of animal waste and any damages caused by their pet. Aggressive or vicious animals will not be allowed.


1.04 Carrying and/or use of firearms or bow and arrows on the lake or adjacent lands is prohibited unless such use occurs in a designated hunting area during designated hunting seasons by an individual who has purchased hunting rights. Firearm shall mean any device capable of discharging a projectile by gunpowder, gas, or other means of propulsion. By way of example and without limitation, firearms shall include shotguns, rifles, handguns, pellet guns, BB guns, flare guns, and other similar devices. CONCEALED OR OPEN CARRY PERMITS ARE NOT VALID PER STATE STATUTES.


1.05 Discharging fireworks in the Lake Carl Blackwell recreational area is prohibited. Fireworks shall mean any combustible or explosive composition, or any substance or combination of substances, or article, prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, or detonation. By way of example and without limitation, fireworks shall include firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, and other similar devices.


1.06 Damaging trees or vegetation in the public areas is prohibited. Cutting or trimming trees is permitted with written permission from the Park Manager.


1.07 All vehicles and watercraft must display a valid Lake Carl Blackwell use permit.

  • Permits may be purchased at the Entrance Booth, Lake Office or at fee boxes throughout the park.
  • All motor vehicles must stay on designated roads, driveways, and parking areas.
  • Parking is permitted in designated parking areas only.
  • Licensee is responsible that all guests display a valid use permit.
  • All vehicles, RV’s and watercraft must display current State registration. Vehicles without current registration, or those obviously disabled, will be impounded. All expenses related to such action will be the sole responsibility of the owner.


1.08 Driving on the grass is prohibited. “Off road” or “four-wheel” driving is prohibited.


1.09 Alcohol kegs and glass bottles are prohibited in the public recreational areas and shoreline of Lake Carl Blackwell.


1.10 Water skiing, swimming and other similar water activities are permitted only in designated areas as marked.


1.11 Certain recreational areas normally specified for fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, hiking, equestrian use or dog training may become temporarily unavailable during hunting season, when research is being conducted, or for other purposes as determined by the Park Manager for the safety of the public.


1.12 Quiet hours are to be observed from 10:00 P.M. to 7:00 A.M. in all areas of the park. No stereos, generators, loud music, or noise that may disturb other campers is allowed.


1.13 Nudity is not allowed at Lake Carl Blackwell. Nude persons will be asked to leave the park, and all permits will be revoked.


1.14 Fires are permitted only in fire rings or grills, and no cutting of living vegetation other than grass is allowed.


1.15 No person shall return to the park following revocation of his/her permit for a period of one year.

Watercraft Rules

2.01 All water craft placed on the lake reservoir must comply with all University, state and federal regulations and must display a current Lake Carl Blackwell use permit. Non-permitted water craft may be impounded. All expenses related to such action will be sole responsibility of the owner.


2.02 No water craft shall be left unattended on or near the lake for more than a twenty-four hour period except in designated storage areas. Recreational groups or individuals holding a long term license agreement with the University may leave such craft unattended provided that the water craft is on the licensed grounds, moored near the licensed grounds or is in a designated storage area. All watercraft must have a current state license and a current Lake Carl Blackwell permit. Any water craft left unattended may be impounded for safekeeping and eventual disposition. Expenses related to such action will be the sole responsibility of the owner.


2.04 Personal water craft (i.e. jet ski, wet bike, etc.) must be operated in a safe and responsible manner. Personal water craft must maintain a separation of 150 feet from boats under way, persons on water skis or inner tubes, and swimmers. Water craft inside of the 150 foot zone must enter, pass and exit the zone at a “no wake” speed. Personal water craft must maintain a separation of 300 feet from anchored or drifting fishing boats. Personal water craft inside the 300 foot zone must enter, pass and exit the zone at a “no wake” speed.


2.05 Operation of personal water craft is not permitted outside of the area defined as the “Ski Area” and delineated by buoys.


2.06 Water skiing and/or inner tubing is not permitted outside of the area as defined as the “Ski Area” and delineated by buoys.


2.07 Courtesy docks are provided for loading and unloading of boat passengers. Sun bathing, swimming and fishing from courtesy docks are prohibited. Mooring on the courtesy docks is prohibited.


2.08 The on-water fuel dock is provided for public, private, and institutional use. One slip is provided to the University Police Department for the Lake Patrol boats and water craft. Other areas of the dock are accessible to the public for fueling water craft and brief excursions to the lake store. Sun bathing, swimming and fishing from the fuel dock are prohibited.

Camping Rules

3.01 Overnight, short-term, and long-term camping is permitted in designated camping areas only.


3.02 A maximum of one recreational vehicle and one tent, or two tents are allowed per campsite. No household appliance shall be operated outside.


3.03 Recreational vehicles shall be no wider than 12 feet (excluding slide-outs), and no longer than 39 feet. Recreational Vehicles wider than 8’ 6” will be manufactured in accordance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard A-119.5 for Park Trailers. These Recreational Vehicles will be allowed with the following provisions:

  • Wheels and towing tongue may not be removed and must remain visible
  • Vehicle must not be attached to ground in any manner
  • Vehicle must have a marine sanitary system installed and in use
  • Vehicle may not be skirted in any manner
  • Vehicle must not have gross living area greater than 400 square feet.
  • Only one approved RV waste tote container, no larger than 60 gallons capacity is approved per nightly or annual camp site.


3.04 No mobile homes or permanent housing shall be allowed on any campsite.


3.05 Discharge of sewage or kitchen waste onto the ground is prohibited. A sewage dump station is provided free of charge to lake patrons for kitchen waste and sewage.


3.06 No privately owned boathouses, storage sheds, cabins, docks, fences, or signs are permitted on the lake or area lands unless specifically authorized in writing by the Park Manager. Each recreational group or individual must comply with the current license agreement as it pertains to such construction and/or renovation.


3.07 Modifying or damaging the electric pedestal or meter is prohibited.


3.08 Check in for all camping is 3:00pm the day of arrival, check out is 12:00pm the day of departure.

Fishing Rules

4.01 Individuals must possess a current State of Oklahoma Fishing License before fishing in Lake Carl Blackwell unless exempted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.


4.02 No type of net, trap, bow and arrow or gun shall be used to take fish from the lake.


4.03 Hand fishing or “Noodling” is prohibited.


4.04 Trot-lines, jug-lines and throw-lines are permitted in areas designated by the Park Manager.


4.05 No person shall offer for sale or market any fish taken from the waters of Lake Carl Blackwell.

Hunting Rules

5.01 Migratory waterfowl hunting is permitted at Lake Carl Blackwell during the legal season at sites selected and marked by the Park Manager. Seasonal waterfowl hunting sites are determined at a public drawing prior to the opening of the waterfowl season.

Violations, Fines and Penalties

6.01 All recreational users of Lake Carl Blackwell are subject to fines, fees and penalties for violation of Park Rule and Regulations.

Violations  Fine cost
Failure to display proper use permit (if annual site, Licensee will be charged for permits) $35
Improper Parking $20
Off-road driving $50
Mooring, Swimming, Sunbathing, Fishing from any courtesy dock $20
Quiet Hours Violations - 1st, 2nd, 3rd occurrence (plus Revocation of License and Permits) $50, $100, $150
Possession of glass bottles or alcohol kegs in public areas (plus confiscation) $50
Use of fireworks at Lake Carl Blackwell (Fireworks will be confiscated) $50
Possession and/or use of firearms or weapons, including bow and arrow, outside designated season and designated areas (plus Revocation of License and Permits) $250
Unauthorized cutting of living trees or shrubs $50
Discharge of waste water on ground (plus Revocation of License and Permits) $250
Failure to keep pets on proper leash, clean waste, failure to attend pets (Unattended pets may be taken to the animal shelter) $20
Fires outside fire rings or grills $25
Modifying or damaging electric meter (plus Revocation of License and Permits) $250
Use of outdoor appliances $50 
Use of more than one RV or 2 tents per licensed site (plus Revocation of License and Permits) $20
Camping outside designated areas (Violators will be removed from park) $50
Operation of personal watercraft or water-skiing outside designated zones, violation of no-wake zones $50

6.02 Persons receiving notification of violations of LCB policies which they feel are unjust or unwarranted may appeal to Sr. Manager Administration/Business - Department of Public Safety.

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