Choke Canyon Lake, Texas, USA

Also known as:  Choke Canyon Reservoir

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Choke Canyon Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

Looking for Choke Canyon Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Choke Canyon Lake

Located 65 miles south of San Antonio, Choke Canyon Lake was impounded in 1982 to supply drinking water to Corpus Christi on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Part of the South Texas Plains region, it gets water from the Frio River shortly before the river’s confluence with the Nueces River. Managed and owned by the City of Corpus Christi, Choke Canyon Lake is an inland get-away for boaters and fisherman who wish to leave the busy coastline.

Public boat ramps managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department are available around the lake including launches at the Highway 99 Ramp, Mason Point, Calliham Unit (located in Choke Canyon State Park), South Shore Unit (also in the state park), and San Miguel Ramp. Choke Canyon Lake ramps are open year-round.

Expect to see largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, blue, channel and flathead catfish, alligator gar, bluegill and redear sunfish. Maps of the lake are available at the Calliham Unit park office in the state park. The most abundant fish in the lake are bass, which can be caught in double-digit numbers during the spring, fall and winter months. In the hot summer, head to the rocky shorelines, submerged roadbeds, and flooded brush near deep water for your best bet at catching bass. For bow fisherman, throw in your line for alligator gar; though they are not as prevalent on Choke Canyon Lake as bass or catfish, they still provide great sport.

For the closest park to the lake, visit Choke Canyon State Park, which is located adjacent to Choke Canyon Reservoir. The park, acquired in 1981 and opened to the public in 1987, has two units, which include the South Shore Unit and Calliham Unit. The South Shore Unit is a day-use park that offers boating, fishing, birding, paddling, restrooms, a 6-lane boat ramp, 2-lane boat ramp, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. There is a lighted fish cleaning station as well as a lake overlook.

The Calliham Unit of Choke Canyon State Park offers camping, RV hookups, hiking, a Choke Canyon Lake beach, softball fields and volleyball courts along with the other amenities offered at the South Shore Unit. It also has a wildlife educational center and group dining hall and recreation hall. The North Shore Equestrian Area, located across the dam from the South Shore Unit, is a 1200-acre area with 18 miles of equestrian trails. This area is only open on weekends from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The wildlife around Choke Canyon Lake includes Rio Grande turkey, whitetail deer, javelina, coyote, opossum, fox squirrel, raccoon, skunk and the American alligator. Besides wildlife the Choke Canyon Lake area is home to evidence of Paleo Native Americans who crossed the Frio River Valley more than 10,000 years ago. A number of Archaic sites have been recorded over the years.

The small town of Three Rivers, 4 miles east of Choke Canyon Lake, provides lodging and amenities. San Antonio, with the famous River Walk, is an hour north. Corpus Christi and the beautiful Padre Island National Seashore are about 80 miles southeast of Choke Canyon. So pack your bags for some exploration of the South Texas Plains.

Things to Do at Choke Canyon Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Choke Canyon Lake

  • Alligator Gar
  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Gar
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker)
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass

Find Places to Stay at Choke Canyon Lake

If you’re considering a Choke Canyon Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Choke Canyon Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Choke Canyon Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Choke Canyon Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Corpus Christi

Surface Area: 25,670 acres

Shoreline Length: 135 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 221 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 241 feet

Average Depth: 27 feet

Maximum Depth: 96 feet

Water Volume: 695,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1982

Drainage Area: 5,500 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

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