Lakes in East Texas

East Texas is blessed with over 50 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, and a map of East Texas lakes.

Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Overhead view of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir 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 and is the largest lake in Texas.

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.

Twenty-two maintained access areas (including parks and private concessions) are located around the reservoir. Boat ramps are available at each of these areas. Some ramps may be unavailable for use when the lake is low, so it's a good idea to check with local authorities for current water levels and ramp conditions.

Thirteen parks are operated by the Corps of Engineers, and the rest by the U.S. Forest Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, or county. Five access areas are operated by concessionaires or located in close proximity to a concession/marina.

Read more about the Sam Rayburn Reservoir

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 behind Sam Rayburn Reservoir at 114,500 acres.

The Livingston Dam, constructed across the Trinity River 7 miles southwest 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.

Read more about  Lake Livingston

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 37,879 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.

Read more about Lake Tawakoni

Caddo Lake

Scene around 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.


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

Read more about Caddo Lake

Lake O' The Pines

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

Read more about the Lake O' the Pines

Lake Fork

Lake Fork crappie catch ... summer of 2022
Lake Fork crappie catch ... summer of 2022 (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 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.

Read more about Lake Bob Sandlin

Lake Bob Sandlin State Park
Traveler reviews and photos at TripAdvisor

 

Toledo Bend Reservoir

Camping area at Toledo Bend Reservoir... summer of 2021
Camping area at Toledo Bend Reservoir... summer of 2021 (Staff Photo)

Toledo Bend Reservoir lies along the Texas-Louisiana border southeast of Tyler, and directly west of Many, Louisiana. This massive 181,600 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.

Read more about Toledo Bend Reservoir

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.

Read more about Wright Patman Lake

 

Cedar Creek Reservoir

Quiet bay at Cedar Creek Lake near Gun Barrel City, Texas
Quiet bay at Cedar Creek Reservoir near Gun Barrel City, Texas

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.

Sometimes called "Cedar Creek Lake", it is technically named Cedar Creek Reservoir, was completed in 1965 as a water source for Fort Worth and many other local communities in North Texas.

The lake is approximately 18 miles long and just over 2 miles wide. The shoreline stretches 220 miles from point to point. The lake also boasts three islands that are managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as Wildlife Management Areas for aquatic birds.

Read more about Cedar Creek Reservoir

Jim Chapman Lake

Aerial view of Jim Chapman Lake in Texas

The City of Cooper is the county seat of Delta County, in Upper East Texas. It is located between the north and south forks of the Sulphur River.

The city lies south of Paris, Texas, and north of Sulphur Springs, on Texas State Highway 154 and FM 64.

Jim Chapman Lake, also known as Cooper Lake, is the most popular tourist attraction in the area, offering visitors boating, swimming, and fishing. Along the north shore of the lake is the Doctor's Creek Unit of Cooper Lake State Park. The park contains several picnic areas, campgrounds, and a large swimming area. The park also contains several hiking and equestrian trails.

Read more about Jim Chapman Lake


B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir

Canoe ride on the quiet waters at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park and Steinhagen Reservoir in East Texas
Steinhagen Reservoir

The B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir is located on the Neches River 14 miles west of Jasper, crossed at its midpoint by U.S. Highway 190. It has a surface area of 10,687 acres, a maximum depth of 35 feet and stretches 8 miles long and 4 miles wide.

The project is one of four reservoirs authorized in the Angelina-Neches Rivers basin. The Sam Rayburn Reservoir, formerly known as McGee Bend Reservoir, was completed in 1965. The other two projects, "Dam A" and "Rockland" are classified as deferred.

In July, 1967, "Dam B" was renamed Town Bluff Dam and B. A. Steinhagen Lake.

Martin Dies, Jr. State Park is a 705-acre recreation area nestled next to B.A. Steinhagen Reservoir. The park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including camping at over 200 campsites, paddling, fishing, swimming, hiking, biking and more.

 

Read more about Steinhagen Reservoir

 

 

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.

Read more at LakePalestineTexas.com

 

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.

Read more at Lake-Tyler.com

The Lake at Tyler State Park

View of the lake at Tyler State Park in East Texas
Scene on 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.

Read more at the Tyler State Park website

Lake Athens

Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens
Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens

Lake Athens is located about five miles east of downtown Athens, and covers 1,799 acres with a maximum depth of 50 feet. Visitors to the lake enjoy fishing, watersports, kayaking and padddleboarding.

The Lake Athens Marina & RV Park provides a wide variety of services and rentals; other facilities are available, such as the Texan RV Park, Windsor Place RV Estates and the Lone Star Camp. Athens Municipal Water Authority owns and operates Lake Athens for municipal water supply, flood regulation, and recreation.

The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is located on the north shore of the lake.

More information at the website of ... Lake Athens at Texas Parks & Wildlife

 

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 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.

Found around the lake are camp sites, RV park, cabins, the pavilion, attractions and many events.

Read more at the website of the Murvaul Marina

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

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.

Read more about Martin Creek at Texas Parks and Wildlife

Martin Creek Lake State Park in East Texas

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

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.

Quiet moment in the fall at Daingerfield State Park

Lake Daingerfield

Daingerfield State Park, in Morris County southwest of Texarkana, is a 506 acre recreational area, and includes the 80 acre Lake Daingerfield.

The park features the Rustling Leaves Nature Trail, camping, fishing, hiking and more, all nestled in colorful groups of maples, gums and oaks.


Alphabetical List of East Texas Area Lakes and Their Size

Lake Name
Size (Acres)
Athens
1,799
Bellwood
170
Bob Sandlin
9,004
Bois d'Arc (new)
16,641
Bonham
1,020
Brandy Creek Reservoir
1,242
Caddo
25,400
Cedar Creek
32,623
Cherokee
3,749
Conroe
20,118
Daingerfield State Park
80
East Lake Tyler
2,276
Fairfield
2,159
Fork
27,264
Gilmer
1,010
Gladewater
481
Hawkins
633
Holbrook
653
Houston County
1,330
Jacksonville
1,320
Jim Chapman - Cooper
19,305
Kurth
726
Livingston
90,000
Lomond
92
Lone Star - Ellison Creek Reservoir
1,500
Martin Creek
4,981
Monticello
2,001
Murvaul
3,397
Nacogdoches
2,212
Naconiche
692
O' the Pines
16,919
Palestine
25,560
Pat Mayse
5,940
Pinkston
523
Quitman
814
Ralph Hall (new)
7,600
Raven
203
Richland-Chambers
41,356
Sam Rayburn
114,500
Steinhagen
10,687
Striker
1,863
Sulphur Springs
1,340
Tawakoni
37,879
Timpson
223
Toledo Bend Reservoir
181,600
Tyler
2,224
Tyler State Park
64
Welsh
1,269
Winnsboro
806
Wright Patman
18,994

List of East Texas Area Lakes by Acres

Lake Name
Size (Acres)
Toledo Bend Reservoir
181,600
Sam Rayburn
114,500
Livingston
90,000
Richland-Chambers
41,356
Tawakoni
37,879
Cedar Creek
32,623
Fork
27,264
Palestine
25,560
Caddo
25,400
Conroe
20,118
Jim Chapman - Cooper
19,305
Wright Patman
18,994
O' the Pines
16,919
Bois d'Arc (new)
16,641
Steinhagen
10,687
Bob Sandlin
9,004
Ralph Hall (new)
7,600
Pat Mayse
5,940
Martin Creek
4,981
Cherokee
3,749
Murvaul
3,397
East Lake Tyler
2,276
Tyler
2,224
Nacogdoches
2,212
Fairfield
2,159
Monticello
2,001
Striker
1,863
Athens
1,799
Lone Star - Ellison Creek Reservoir
1,500
Sulphur Springs
1,340
Houston County
1,330
Jacksonville
1,320
Welsh
1,269
Brandy Creek Reservoir
1,242
Bonham
1,020
Gilmer
1,010
Quitman
814
Winnsboro
806
Kurth
726
Naconiche
692
Holbrook
653
Hawkins
633
Pinkston
523
Gladewater
481
Timpson
223
Raven
203
Bellwood
170
Lomond
92
Daingerfield State Park
80
Tyler State Park
64

Map of Lakes in the East Texas Area

Zoom / pan map for more detail, and click on icons for lake details.

Click on this icon Display the list of East Texas lakes below to see a list of East Texas lakes. 

 

 

New Lakes in East Texas

Bois d'Arc Lake

Bois d’Arc Lake is the first new major reservoir in Texas in nearly 30 years. The 16,641-acre lake is located northeast of the city of Bonham in Fannin County and began to impound (hold) water on April 14, 2021. It will have a maximum depth of 70 feet.

The lake will meet the water needs and demands for our growing region of 1.8 million people until 2040.

Read more about of Bois d'Arc Lake

Lake Ralph Hall

Lake Ralph Hall will be one of Texas’ newest lakes and one of the state’s biggest water projects in the last 30 years. Named after the longtime US Congressman Ralph Hall from Rockwall, the reservoir will be located on the North Sulphur River in Southeast Fannin County. Its lake surface will total about 7,600 acres.

The project is being built by Upper Trinity Regional Water District (UTRWD) and will provide crucial water for an area whose population is projected to increase nearly five fold in the next 50 years. Construction of the lake is anticipated to begin in early 2021 with water delivery by 2025.

This massive $490 million project will deliver water to thousands of North Texas residents when it is completed.

Read more about of Lake Ralph Hall

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.

Information & Status of Lakes Across Texas

  • For more information on all Texas lakes, visit Texas Freshwater Lakes supplied 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 available from Texas Parks and Wildlife 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.

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