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Lakes in East Texas

East Texas is blessed with a large number of lakes offering a variety of outdoor sports for vacations or weekends.

Discussed on this page are some of larger and more popular lakes. Also included below is a list of East Texas lakes with their sizes.

Lake Tawakoni

Lake Tawakoni, also known as the Iron Bridge Dam and Reservoir Project, was the first major project built by the Sabine River Authority of Texas.

Lake Tawakoni has a surface area of about 36,700 acres. The dam is located about 10 miles northeast of Wills Point, and the reservoir lies within parts of Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt Counties.

Lake Tawakoni Dam in Texas
Lake Tawakoni Dam (photo courtesy of the Sabine River Authority)

The project's primary purpose is one of water conservation and supply. The reservoir as-built storage capacity at conservation pool elevation of 437.5 mean sea level .

The South Fork, Cowleech Fork, and Caddo Forks that all formed the Sabine River headwaters are now submerged under the lake and the lake now serves as the headwaters of the Sabine River.

Nearby is the Lake Tawakoni State Park which offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, birding and other outdoor activities.

Lake Fork

Lake Fork crappie catch ... summer of 2020
Lake Fork crappie catch ... summer of 2020 (Staff photo

At 27,264 acres and 315 miles of shoreline, Lake Fork was designed to be a premier bass fishing lake and currently holds records for 34 out of the Top 50 largemouth bass caught in Texas.

This popular lake located on the Sabine River in Hopkins, Rains and Wood Counties, 5 miles northwest of Quitman, and north of Mineola. It was impounded in 1980, and today reaches a depth of 70 feet.

Largemouth bass is the most popular sportfish in this reservoir. A combination of restrictive harvest regulations, stocking of Florida strain largemouth, and abundant habitat has contributed to Lake Fork's development as one of the country's premier trophy bass lakes.

Read more about Lake Fork



Lake Tyler

Lake Tyler and Lake Tyler East, situated adjacent to each other and connected via a canal, are located just east of Tyler, Texas.

These are the largest lakes in the Tyler area in addition to Lake Palestine.

Lake Tyler in East Texas

The two lakes cover nearly 5,000 surface acres and serve as the major water supply source to the Tyler metro area.

Popular recreational activities include boating, water skiing, fishing, camping at Camp Tyler, hiking and swimming.

In addition, numerous homesites and waterfront lots make this a popular residential area with unlimited real estate options, from weekend camps to year-round upscale homes.

For more information about fishing, boating, maps, lodging, photographs, visit www.Lake-Tyler.com

Lake Palestine

Lake Palestine Texas

Lake Palestine is located about 15 miles southwest of Tyler, Texas, on Texas Highway 155, and resulting from a dam on the Neches River. It has a surface area of 25,560 acres, and was completed in 1962.

Lake Palestine offers recreation and outdoor activities for everyone, with boating, water skiing, houseboating, camping, RVing, canoeing, hiking, biking, and fishing all being popular activities.

It also offers waterfront and lakeside living for many Texans and visitors, and lodging including RV parks, campgrounds, resorts, cabins, motels, and B&Bs.

More at www.LakePalestineTexas.com

Toledo Bend Reservoir

Camping area at Toledo Bend Reservoir... summer of 2020
Camping area at Toledo Bend Reservoir... summer of 2020 (Staff photo)

Toledo Bend Reservoir lies along the Texas-Louisiana border southeast of Tyler, and directly west of Many, Louisiana. This massive 185,000 acre lake is a project of the States of Texas and Louisiana, and has both recreational and power generation benefits.

As the largest man-made lake in the south, Toledo Bend forms a portion of the boundary between the states of Texas and Louisiana. The lake extends 65 miles to the north to near Logansport, LA.

Boating, fishing, skiing, camping, hiking, golfing and other recreational activities are popular around this lake. RV resorts, campgrounds, resorts, restaurants, marinas, and motels are all available along the 1,200 miles of shoreline of the reservoir.

In 2015, Bassmaster Magazine selected Toledo Bend Reservoir as the top fishery in the United States. Toledo Bend ranked above 230 potential lakes after the magazine conducted research and personal interviews with anglers from around the U.S.

Read more at  Toledo Bend Reservoir


Cedar Creek Reservoir

Cedar Creek Reservoir is located in Henderson and Kaufman Counties, Texas, 60 miles southeast of Dallas. It is built on Cedar Creek, which flows into the Trinity River. It is also 15 miles west of Athens in the area between US 175 and Texas 274. The reservoir has a surface area of 32,623 acres, with a maximum depth of 53 feet, and is the fourth largest lake in Texas with over 320 miles of shoreline. It was impounded in 1965.

The Lake at Tyler State Park

Tyler State Park is located just north of Tyler, 2 miles north of Interstate 20 on FM 14, then into the park on Park Road 16. This beautiful 985 acre park in the rolling hills features a 64 acre lake, campgrounds, hiking trails, pavilions, cabins, mountain biking, nature studies, canoes, paddle boats, kayaks, bike boats, jon boats, park store and much more. Phone (903) 597-5338. details at Tyler State Park website

Seen below is a view of the lake at Tyler State Park (photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife)

View of the lake at Tyler State Park in East Texas

Lake Striker

Lake Striker in East Texas at sunset
Lake Striker at sunset

Lake Striker is located near Reklaw and New Summerfield, east of Jacksonville, and southwest of Henderson. Its normal pool elevation is 293 feet above sea level.

The lake is popular for its fishing, and largemouth bass, catfish and crappie are caught throughout the year. Lake Striker is also used for a variety of recreational purposes.

The Lake Striker Resort, on the east side of the lake, offers hotel rooms, cabins, camp sites, a RV park, a restaurant and a live entertainment venue. The resort also features a marina with boat launch, covered fishing pier, and a Texas Parks and Wildlife offficial weigh-in station. Its address is 18560 County Road 4256, South Reklaw, Texas 75784.

Read more about Lake Striker


Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in AthensTexas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens

Close to Athens is the widely known and visited Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC).

The facility combines outdoor education with a production fish hatchery. This $18 million facility was built without the use of state funds even though it belongs to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. TFFC houses a hatchery, laboratory, aquarium, and education center focusing on underwater wildlife in the state’s freshwater streams, ponds and lakes.

The Center is located about four miles east of Athens and 75 miles southeast of Dallas. The main entrance is at 5550 FM 2495, Athens, Texas 75752. Phone 903.676.2277

Read more about the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center

Lake Jacksonville

Lake Jacksonville, built in 1957, is located three miles southwest of Jacksonville and covers an area of 1,320 acres.

It is the city's main water source and a popular destination for boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities, both for residents and tourists.

The City of Jacksonville Parks Department maintains ten screened shelters, seven camping sites with water and electricity and ten RV pads with water and electricity. There are three boat ramps on the lake and two public swimming areas. The camping area also has restroom facilities with showers for the campers.

Read more about Lake Jacksonville

Lake Bob Sandlin

Lake Bob Sandlin is located on Big Cypress Creek 5 miles southwest of Mount Pleasant in Titus, Camp, and Franklin counties. It has a surface area of 9,004 acres, and a maximum depth of 65.6 feet. It was impounded in 1977.

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park is a 639.8-acre park located on the heavily wooded shoreline on the north side of Lake Bob Sandlin.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

overhead view of the Lake Rayburn dam in East Texas

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is located on the Angelina River, and its dam is located in Jasper County approximately 15 miles north of Jasper. The lake has a surface area of 114,500 acres, and a maximum depth of 80 feet. The lake was impounded in 1965.

The most popular game fish at Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the largemouth bass; an excellent year-round fishery exists. Habitat in Sam Rayburn Reservoir consists of submerged aquatic vegetation, standing timber, and flooded terrestrial vegetation.

Shown to the right is an overhead view of the Lake Rayburn dam (photo courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Caddo Lake

Caddo Lake is a 25,400 acres lake and wetland on the border between Texas and Louisiana, in northern Harrison County and southern Marion County in Texas and western Caddo Parish in Louisiana.

Caddo Lake in East Texas

This lake was the only natural lake in Texas until it was artificially dammed in the early 1900s when oil was found and for flood control in 1914. A new dam replaced the old one in 1971.

Some of the cypress trees in the swamp are more than 400 years old.

The average depth of the lake is 8 to 10 feet with the deep water in the bayou averaging about 20 feet. The lake contains 71 species of fish, and it is especially good for crappie and largemouth and white bass.

The denseness of the swamp creates an inviting maze for paddlers in kayaks and canoes. On the Texas side, at Caddo Lake State Park, there are 10 kayak/canoe trails, with names like Hell's Half Acre, Cathedral Trail, Old Folks Playground and Turtle Shell Trail. The trails are marked, and maps are provided.

For more information on the park, located at 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, TX, phone 903.679.3351

Lake O' The Pines

Lake O' the Pines is located on Big Cypress Creek in the Cypress River Basin, 25 miles northeast of Longview in Marion, Morris, Upshur, and Camp counties. It has a surface area of 16,919 acres, and a maximum depth of 49.5 feet. The lake was impounded in 1956.

This lake's diverse fish community offers many angling opportunities. White bass are native to the Cypress River Basin; the population is abundant and contains many legal-size fishes. Crappie, also popular with anglers, are quite abundant with large proportions of legal-size fish available.

Shown below is the entrance area to Brushy Creek Park at Lake O' the Pines in East Texas

entrance area to Brushy Creek Park at Lake O' the Pines in East Texas
Brushy Creek Park at Lake O' the Pines

Lake Murvaul

Scene on Lake Murvaul near Carthage in East Texas
Scene on Lake Murvaul near Carthage in East Texas

Lake Murvaul is located 15 miles west of Carthage, on Murvaul Bayou in Panola County. It features a surface area of 3,397 acres and a maximum depth of 36 feet. The controlling authority is the Panola County Fresh Water District, which completed the lake in 1958.

Predominant fish species caught in Lake Murvaul include largemouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, bluegill and sunfish.

Visit the website of the Murvaul Marina for more information on camp sites, RV park, cabins, the pavilion, attractions and events at the lake.


Martin Creek Lake

Martin Creek Lake is located in Rusk County, on Martin Creek 3 miles southwest of Tatum on Texas Highway 43. It covers a surface area of 4,981 acres, with a maximum depth of 35 feet. The lake was impounded in 1974 to provide cooling water for a power plant.

Since Martin Creek is a power plant lake, water temperatures are elevated, especially during the winter months. Anglers are most successful at catching largemouth bass during the winter and early spring. Martin Creek Lake State Park, which consists of 286.9 acres, is located in the area.

Wright Patman Lake

Scene on Wright Patman Lake in East Texas
Scene on Wright Patman Lake

Wright Patman lake is on the Sulphur River in Bowie and Cass counties, 10 miles southwest of Texarkana. Its surface area covers 18,994 acres, and features a maximum depth of 40 feet. It was impounded in 1956.

White bass are very popular at Wright Patman, with high numbers of quality-size fish available for harvest. Crappie are also popular at Wright Patman, with large numbers of legal-size fish available. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains nine parks around Wright Patman Lake. These parks provide lake access for boating, swimming, and fishing; as well as camping, picnicking, hiking, equestrian trails, and other outdoor activities. Atlanta State Park is also located on the south shore of the lake.

Lake Livingston

Lake Livingston in East Texas

Lake Livingston was built, and is owned and operated, by the Trinity River Authority of Texas (TRA) under contract with the City of Houston for water-supply purposes. It is located on the Trinity River in Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity and Walker counties.

It covers 90,000 acres, and is 31 miles long and 9 miles wide.

The lake is the second-largest lake located wholly within the state of Texas (Sam Rayburn Reservoir is larger).

The Livingston Dam, constructed across the Trinity River 7 milessouthwest of the city of Livingston is 2.5 miles in length. The lake has an average depth of 55 feet, and a maximum depth of 90 feet.

Lake Livingston is a notable white bass fishery. White bass are plentiful and grow to large sizes. Also notable is the catfish fishery, dominated by blue catfish. Largemouth bass, striped bass, and crappie are less abundant but good catches are possible in areas of the reservoir where habitat is available.

Lake Lone Star

Ellison Creek Reservoir, also known as Lone Star Lake, runs in a north-south orientation, just to the west of the City of Lone Star. The lake occupies about 1,500 acres and has a maximum depth of 40 feet. The most popular fish species caught in the lake are Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Spotted Bass and Channel Catfish.

The lake is located on U.S. Highway 259 six miles south of Daingerfield in southern Morris County in Upper East Texas.

A quiet scene on Lone Star Lake in Upper East Texas
A quiet scene on Lone Star Lake in Upper East Texas


Lake Columbia

Lake Columbia, a project in the planning stage by the Angelina and Neches River Authority, would cover about 10,000 surface acres and be 14 miles long.

The dam would be located about five miles southeast of Jacksonville, and the lake would have 95 miles of shoreline. Its anticipated yield is 85,507 acre-feet annually for use by water supply customers, which include Whitehouse, Jacksonville, Troup and Rusk. No plans are in place for actual development and construction.

Alphabetical List of East Texas Lakes and Their Size

Lake Name
Size (Acres)
Bois d'Arc (new)
Bob Sandlin
Cedar Creek
East Lake Tyler
Martin Creek
O'The Pines
Sam Rayburn
Toledo Bend Reservoir
Wright Patman


Lakes Across Texas

For more information on all Texas lakes, visit Texas Freshwater Lakes provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife. This site provides an alphabetical listing of 150 Texas lakes as well as a clickable map of lakes by region.

Also provided is a listing of Texas Community Fishing Lakes.  A Community Fishing Lake (CFL) is a public impoundment 75 acres or smaller located within an incorporated city limits or a public park, or any impoundment lying totally within the boundaries of a state park.

More Texas Resources