Pomme de Terre Lake is located in southwest Missouri at the confluence of Lindley Creek and the Pomme de Terre River (for which it is named). The lake is located in southern Hickory and northern Polk counties, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Springfield. The name is French and literally translated means “earth apple”, which in English is a potato.
The lake is part of a series of lakes in the Osage River Basin designed and constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers for flood control. Construction began in 1957 and was complete in 1961 at a cost of $14,946,784. Storage of water began on October 29, 1961 and the multipurpose pool was reached on June 15, 1963.
The dam is adjacent to Pomme de Terre State Park and is crossed by Route 254. It consists of a 14-foot (4 m) circular tunnel with two 6.5 X 14-foot (4 m) hydraulic slide service gates and a single 24-inch (610 mm) circular low flow gate. The dam is 7,230 feet (2,204 m) long, 30 feet (9 m) wide at the top and 950 feet (290 m) wide at the base (maximum).
There are two arms of the lake that extend from the dam site. The Pomme de Terre arm follows the Pomme de Terre River and extends for 17 miles (27 km). The Lindley arm follows Lindley Creek for 12 miles (19 km).