Benbrook Lake, Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

Also known as:  Lake Benbrook, Benbrook Reservoir

Sprawled along the Clear Fork branch of the Trinity River in the Texas Prairies and Lakes region, Benbrook Lake works hard to improve the quality of life for area residents and visitors. The 3800-acre reservoir was created by the US Army Corps of Engineers to alleviate repeated catastrophic flooding in downtown Fort Worth. After several major flooding events, construction was begun in 1947 and completed in 1952. The first complete filling of the reservoir occurred in 1957 when the new dam prevented multi-millions in property damage by containing a potential flood. That averted flood alone saved as much as the reservoir cost, proving its worth. Originally, the reservoir was planned as part of a proposed shipping channel, the plans for which have been abandoned. Now the Tarrant Regional Water District holds the water rights and utilizes the reservoir as a water source for the cities of Benbrook, Fort Worth and Weatherford. Over the years Benbrook Lake has become one of the most popular recreational lakes in the Fort Worth area.

In order to contain potential flood waters, the US Army Corps of Engineers either owns or holds an easement on all lakeshore properties up to an elevation of 741 feet above sea level. The normal lake level is 694 feet. The reservoir has a flood-stage capacity to the 724-feet level which would nearly double the amount of water it could hold if necessary during major flooding, and includes a few more feet as a safety measure. But this land is put to good public use as the Corps maintains and operates three major recreational complexes with two more leased to the City of Benbrook and the City of Fort Worth respectively. Among them, Benbrook Lake supports three campgrounds, some with a variety of camping areas and amenities, five boat launch sites, a marina, five picnic areas, day-use areas, three improved swim areas and a number of trails.

The lake is available for all types of boating, including water skiing, tubing, power boating, personal watercraft, sailing, canoeing and kayaking. On-shore activities include ball fields, courts for tennis, basketball and volleyball, children’s playground areas, soapbox derby track, model aircraft fields, and a municipal golf course. A marina and riding stables are operated by concessionaires, with the area near the stables as trailhead for over 14 miles of riding and hiking trails. The campgrounds are so popular that reservations are recommended in order to reserve a space.

Benbrook Lake also offers great angling activity for fishermen: largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, crappie, blue catfish and channel catfish are all caught. As with many large Texas reservoirs, Benbrook Lake is noted for excellent bass fishing, particularly the hybrid bass. Tournaments are held at the lake regularly. Bait and tackle are sold at the marina concession, which also provides boat storage. White and hybrid bass can often be caught from shore during the spring runs along the river and creek channels. Some restrictions on shoreline fishing exist in certain areas, so visiting anglers should check with park officials before casting a line. A fishing barge is provided at the Dutch Branch Park to facilitate shore fishing.

Hunting is available on some portions of public land around the lake with hunting permits issued by lottery. The Benbrook Lake area is noted for the wide variety of birds sightings. A Benbrook Lake bird listing is available from the Corps in conjunction with the local Audubon Society. With all of these activities available less than 10 miles from the center of Fort Worth, it is no wonder Benbrook Lake is so popular with both locals and vacationers.

Vacationing at Benbrook Lake gives visitors not only lake-based activities but excellent access to all of the attractions a city like Fort Worth can offer. In addition to the annual stock show, rodeos are regularly produced around the area. The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens offer over 100 acres of lovely blooms, outdoor concerts and special events. The Fort Worth Zoo provides ever-changing exhibits of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians along with stage shows and ‘wild’ encounters. The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History includes a planetarium and great shows in the Omni Max Theater. Among noted museums, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the Kimball Art Museum stand out.

There are plenty of activities near Benbrook Lake to please younger family members, too, such as a major amusement park and several water parks. The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge offers acres of boardwalks across marshy bayou-like land and drier ground where prairie dogs, deer and buffalo roam. Dallas claims to have more shopping venues than New York City. In fact, the Fort Worth-Dallas Metroplex is noted for all types of shopping, entertainment and nightlife, so there is no excuse for the youngsters to ever claim boredom, even on the occasional rainy day.

There is no real estate directly on Benbrook Lake’s shoreline, but there are sometimes lake view properties available. Occasionally private rentals may be found. Nearby towns offer a variety of lodgings, from motels and hotels to guest cottages, housekeeping cottages and bed-and-breakfasts. So if camping isn’t in your repertoire, there are plenty of more luxurious places to stay. Come spend some time at Benbrook Lake. One visit and it will likely become your favorite leisure destination.

Things to do at Benbrook Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Playground
  • Amusement Park
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Benbrook Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Blue Catfish
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • White Bass

Benbrook Lake Photo Gallery

Benbrook Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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