Joe Pool Lake, Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

Also known as:  Joe Pool Reservoir

When summer heat leaves residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area longing for cool breezes, many of them head for Joe Pool Lake. This reservoir was created in 1985 for water supply and recreation for the millions of residents of the nearby metro-plex. When the lake was finally full in 1989, a full 7,740 acres of water surface provided those cool breezes sought by area residents and offered fishing, camping, boating and swimming facilities to meet every visitor’s needs. Although other reservoirs exist south of Dallas-Ft Worth, Joe Pool Lake is one of the largest, and is specifically planned to provide access to the public in a number of places.

Although Joe Pool Lake could be termed urban, much of the land surrounding the lake is park land, mostly public. The atmosphere is natural, and the camping facilities are excellent. Swimming and boating are favored activities. Visitors enjoy pontooning, sailing, power boating, water-skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, canoeing, and kayaking. Two marinas on the lake provide boat rentals, and boat slips can be leased for those who wish to keep their larger watercraft at the lake. The marinas offer bait, ice and snacks. One also has a restaurant available for a sit-down dining experience after a long day on the water.

Boat ramps are available in several spots along the 60-miles of shoreline to accommodate the many fishermen who enjoy fishing the varied underwater terrain of the reservoir’s two arms. White crappie, largemouth bass, and catfish are the species most often fished for, but bluegill and sunfish are popular with the children. The lake has very little plant life, which limits spawning of some species. State experts are working to improve the fishery; this is still a young lake, and good habitat takes time to develop. Joe Pool Marina at Cedar Hill State Park also has a pay ‘fishing barge’: a covered platform on pilings over the water with benches built around an open center ‘fishing hole’- very popular with families and senior citizens!

The best-known park on Joe Pool Lake is Cedar Hill State Park. The 1826-acre park has over 300 campsites, hundreds of picnic tables and grills, swim area, hiking trails, mountain bike trail, boat ramps, the marina, and fishing barge. An additional attraction at Cedar Hill State Park is the Penn Farm Agricultural History Center, where tours demonstrate how farm families lived and worked over 150 years ago. The Escarpment Nature Preserve is also part of the park and is home to five native tallgrass prairie remnants containing a variety of endangered plants. The reserve harbors many more common animals that city dwellers often don’t see, including bobcat, coyote, fox, squirrel, armadillo, and raccoon. The park is also a flyway for neotropical birds and is often the destination of bird-watching clubs.

Some of the other parks along the shore of Joe Pool Lake are: Loyd Park, with campsites, boat ramps, hiking trail, swimming beach, picnic facilities, equestrian trail, softball and volley ball courts. Loyd Park also rents camper cabins with up to two bedrooms. some that are handicap accessible. These modern-style cabins are excellent for the reluctant camper in the family who dreads ‘roughing it’.

Lynn Creek Park has a boat ramp, a beach area, a concession stand, group and single use picnic sites, and sand volleyball courts. Lynn Creek Park is a day use facility.

Britton Park’s primary purpose is to allow boaters easy access to the southernmost reaches of Joe Pool Lake. Boat launch fees are reasonable, and a parking lot and rest room are provided.

The area around Joe Pool Lake is well-supplied with other recreational activities such as golf courses. And, being only 10 miles from the metropolitan areas of Dallas-Fort Worth, there is never a shortage of places to shop, attend a movie or theater performance or enjoy a night out, complete with fine dining and night-clubbing.

Named for the late Congressman Joe Pool, the reservoir was planned originally in the 1960s, but construction was not started until 1977. The dam was completed in 1985. Joe Pool Reservoir impounds the waters of Mountain Creek and Walnut Creek, forming the two arms at the south end of the reservoir. Once water leaves the dam area, it flows northward as Mountain Creek until it ends at Mountain Creek Lake. Currently Joe Pool Reservoir serves as a water supply for the City of Midlothian, but other municipalities can claim water if they need to do so in the future. Before the lake was filled, extensive archeological excavations were carried out in the area. Discoveries at that time included small, briefly occupied camps of prehistoric hunter/gatherers, several larger reoccupied prehistoric camps, a small prehistoric village, an antebellum plantation, several large post-Civil War farmsteads, and a number of late nineteenth century farmsteads with standing buildings. These excavations greatly enhanced the knowledge of historic settlement in the area, with both ancient pottery and spear points found, as well as more modern canning jars and ceramic dishware.

Real estate opportunities still exist along the shore of Joe Pool Lake, mostly in new developments. Both existing homes and lots for building can be purchased, some with generous lake frontage. Few vacation rentals are available along the shoreline, but the occasional private residence is available for lease. However, the surrounding areas are full of other lodging choices, from hotels and motels, bed-and-breakfasts, condos, sublets and guest cottages. With a generous offering of public access to the lake, even those who stay some distance away can take advantage of the beautiful expanse of open water daily. So the next time you have a chance to visit the Dallas-Fort Worth area, make the trip to Joe Pool Lake. Bring the swim suits, the kids and the water skis. There’s something for everyone at Joe Pool Lake. Come and experience it all for yourself.

Things to do at Joe Pool Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Joe Pool Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Crappie

Joe Pool Lake Photo Gallery

Joe Pool Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U. S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 7,470 acres

Shoreline Length: 60 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 522 feet

Maximum Depth: 75 feet

Water Volume: 176,900 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1985

Drainage Area: 304 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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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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