Sherman Dam, located on Oak Creek, was completed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in January, 1962. The dam is a homogeneous rolled earth-filled structure 134 feet high with a crest length of 4,450 feet. Sherman Reservoir stores off-season water flows for release during the irrigation season. Water is diverted from the Middle Loup River by the Arcadia Diversion Dam and flows 18 miles through the Sherman Feeder Canal to the reservoir.
A facility of the Middle Loup Division of the Nebraska-Kansas Project, the dam creates a reservoir with 65 miles of shoreline, 69,076 acre feet of storage, and a surface area of 2,878 acres. Irrigation releases and operation of the dam are the responsibility of the Farwell Irrigation District. Approximately 50,000 acres of Nebraska farmland are served by this reservoir.
Fishing and power boating are the mainstays of this central Nebraska reservoir. Rugged drainage ways branch off the main reservoir body providing interesting bays and coves and outstanding fishing opportunities. Walleye fishing is good along the dam during the spring spawning run, and a few largemouth bass and many crappie can be taken in the bays, off points or in the underwater cover from midspring to early summer. During summer, white bass and catfish can be caught nearly everywhere on the lake.
An abundance of recreation sites are located intermittently around the reservoir offering primitive camping and day-use facilities, including drinking water, vault toilets and shelters.
Among the most popular of the lake's many accesses, Trail 1 leads to several hard-surfaced recreation sites at the southwest end of the dam including Redwood, Thunder Bay Boat Ramp, West Ridge, Middle Ridge and East Ridge areas. In addition to basic recreational services, the area headquarters building, coin-operated showerhouse and dump station are located on Trail 1.
Located at the far northeast end of the dam, Trail 2 affords hard-surface vehicle access to the popular Marina Bay Boat Ramp area and the Trade Winds Marina, the reservoir's concession facility.
Trails 3, 8, 10 & 11
These trails lead to the Ash Canyon, Moon Creek, Dead Horse Creek and Oak Creek recreation sites, respectively. Offering slightly more primitive camping opportunities, these four recreational accesses are ever popular with families who like to get away from it all. Facilities are limited to drinking water and vault toilets and a boat ramp on Trail 10. Access into these areas is over gravel surface roads which can become difficult to navigate during wet periods.
Perhaps the most popular fishing spot on the reservoir, this small area provides pedestrian fisherman access to the supply canal immediately below the reservoir's inlet structure. Drinking water and vault toilet facilities are provided. Visitors want to be sure to watch for storm clouds as access to this area can be particularly difficult when the road gets wet.
Sherman Reservoir is a 2,845 acre irrigation impoundment with 1,541 acres of land. This area offers power boating, fishing, picnicking and a marina. Primitive Camping is available with a coin operated shower facility.