Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area

Photo by Steve & Bobbi Olson

Nebraska's Largest Reservoir

What the old-time cowboys needed, but didn’t have, was a really big lake in which to cool off. Eight miles northeast of Ogallala, Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area is Nebraska’s largest reservoir. At full capacity, McConaughy is four miles wide, 22 miles long and 142 feet deep at the dam with over 100 miles of shoreline. A state park permit is required.

The lake offers many types of recreation, with areas for camping and picnicking, beaches for swimming, and the lake itself – popular with sailboaters, waterskiers, windsurfers, scuba divers and anglers. Fish grow to trophy proportions here, and “Big Mac” accounts for several state fishing records. Game fish include rainbow trout, catfish, walleye and white bass, striped bass, smallmouth bass and others.

For more information about Ogallala, contact the Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce at (800) 658-4390 or visit and