In May of 1940 the first construction of Clearwater Project began. By March 1942 the outlet works were completed but with the outbreak of World War II all construction was brought to a halt. It was not until September of 1948 that the remainder of the project was completed.
Clearwater is one unit of a comprehensive plan for flood control and development of the water resources in the White and lower Mississippi River Basins and is operated primarily for flood control. At an initial construction cost of $9,1 million, Clearwater has succeeded in its purpose.
Recreation has come to play a major role at Clearwater Lake, although that was not its initial mission. Now Clearwater offers boating, swimming, and camping facilities.
Whether you like to swim, ski, boat, camp, picnic, fish, or hunt; Clearwater Lake has it. There are five campgrounds on the designated swim beaches, seven group picnic shelters, seven playgrounds and miles of undeveloped shoreline
Camping opportunities abound. With over 390 campsites ranging from rustic to full electric and water hook-up, you are sure to find one that is perfect for your camping experience. Camping is offered year round.
Campsites can be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation Service on-line at Recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
The impoundment is also well known as an excellent crappie lake. Fishermen also enjoy catching bass, bream, flathead catfish, channel catfish, walleye and carp. Below the dam, visitors may also find walleye, which are managed in cooperation with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Fish shelters are placed in the lake in various areas. Maps are available at local bait shops and retailers showing the locations of these shelters.