The gently sloping land to the water's edge gives visitors easy access to Canton Lake for many types of recreation, both on the lake and along the scenic shoreline. The lake provides several species of fish, including largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, crappie and walleye. Canton has become the primary source of walleye eggs for incubation and stocking of other state lakes. Since 1968, community leaders and local merchants have promoted an annual Walleye Rodeo. The four-day event offers visitors the chance to win cash and other prizes that total over $30,000. The community also hosts other festivities which attract fishermen from Oklahoma and surrounding states.
The Canton Public Hunting Area, located along the north and west portion of the lake, covers 14,861 acres of land forested with post oak-blackjack timber on the uplands and cottonwood, chittam wood, elm and hackberry in the bottomlands. The area provides some of the best hunting in the state. Approximately 2,000 acres are planted with wildlife foods such as maize, wheat and other grains for quail, turkey, rabbit, squirrel, dove, deer, waterfowl and other game. Additional facilities include boat ramps, picnic areas, RV and tent campsites, drinking water, group shelters, restrooms, showers, a swimming beach, both 30 amp and 50 amp electric sites, concession services and a nature trail. The ramp below the spillway leads to a concrete slab for angling within the spilling basin, while the Canadian Recreation Authority has a concrete fishing dock with a sidewalk for easy access. The lake covers 7,910 acres.