Lake Dardanelle is 34,300 acres of water and has visitor's centers in Russellville, AR and in Dardanelle. The swim beach is on the Russelville side. The visitor's center in Russelville has aquariums, a honey bee hive and lots of interactive exhibits (Google Map).
The lake was constructed as part of the McClellan – Kerr Waterway Construction Project which helped make the Arkansas river accessible to commercial ships. The damn was constructed in 1964 and Lake Dardanelle Reservoir was created in 1971. The combination of the lake and the river make this a great fishing spot and a popular area for anglers.
2. Nimrod LakeRanked #12 for crappie fishing, Lake Nimrod is 3,550 acres with 77 miles of shoreline on Arkansas Scenic 7 Byway. It was created by the Corps of Engineers and is the oldest Corps of Engineers project in Arkansas. Lake Nimrod is known for fishing of all kinds, not just crappie. Largemouth bass, bream, white bass, and catfish are also popular there. Lake Nimrod is located in Yell County (Google Map), about an hour and a half from Little Rock.
Nimrod is also popular for boating, hiking and camping. There are swimming areas and playgrounds scattered all over. More on swimming in Arkansas lakes.
3. Lake ConwayLake Conway is a 6,700-acre lake in Arkansas, and ranks #39 for crappie fishing. It is the largest reservoir made by a game and fish commission in the United States. The dam is a very popular spot to fish for bass, catfish, bream and crappie.
The lake was near an oil spill on March 29, 2013, which causes concern for some anglers. Though officials say significant oil did not reach the lake, some environmental groups have claimed to find oil in the lakes (source).
4. Lake GreesonLake Greeson ranks #40 for crappie fishing nationwide. This 7,000-acre lake is a popular spot for all kinds of recreation. It is one of Arkansas' diamond lakes, and contains Daisy State Park. It's a popular spot for trout and catfish fishing, along with crappie. It's located on the Little Missouri River (Google Map), near Murfreesburo, the home of the diamond mines.
Diamond lakes are known for their pristine water and clarity.