The Poteau River in LeFlore County is the home for Lake Wister, nestled in a ring of pine and oak covered mountains: the Sans Bois, Jackforks, Kiamichis and Ouachitas. Two major rivers, the Fourche Maline and Poteau, and a half dozen or more mountain streams feed into the lake. One interesting fact about the Poteau River is that it is the only river in Oklahoma that flows north. The area around the lake supports numerous dogwood trees as well as redbud, wild cherry, northern spruce and Ponderosa pine.
East of the lake is a popular tourist attraction, the Heavener Runestone, which establishes Norse Vikings visited Oklahoma in the 11th century. Approximately 33,400 acres of project land and water are leased to the Department of Wildlife Conservation for fish and wildlife management, including a waterfowl refuge in the timbered area on the Fourche Maline arm of Wister. The remaining 28,300 acres serve as a public hunting area offering numerous waterfowl, quail, squirrel, rabbit and deer. An abundance of northern bluegill, channel catfish, flathead catfish, white bass, smallmouth and largemouth bass and other species are available for the angler. Campground and picnic shelter facilities are not available from the Corps of Engineers, but can be found at Lake Wister State Park (918-655-7212), along with boat ramps, drinking water, restrooms, showers, concession services, playgrounds and cabins. Shoreline length: 115 miles.