Lake Arlington, Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

Located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Lake Arlington does double duty for the citizens of the metro-plex. Originally planned for flood control and water supply, Lake Arlington quickly became a favored local fishing and boating destination. Several small gated communities offer high-end living with views over its nearly 2000-acre surface. In this arid climate with few natural lakes, Lake Arlington serves as a welcome water feature and producer of cooling breezes. The storage reservoir serves to prevent flooding during heavy rains, and joins other reservoirs in the Trinity River basin in assuring a reliable water supply to residents.

Although west of the City of Arlington, the area is decidedly urban/suburban. Several communities utilize the waters from Lake Arlington on a regular basis. The City of Arlington owns the lake, but shares water resource responsibilities with the Tarrant Regional Water District. Most of the mundane activities surrounding the utilization of this precious water are hardly noticed by the many who come to the three small parks along its shores to fish, boat, jet-ski, water ski, sail and enjoy a shaded picnic complete with lake breeze. The three parks – Richard Simpson Park, Bowman Springs Park and Eugene McCray Park – offer boat ramps, picnic areas, courtesy docks, restrooms and handicap access. One of the parks offers a rental pavilion with lighting that can seat up to 60 people. Swimming is not permitted in the lake. A yacht club on the eastern shore has offered sailing fun to members for nearly as long as Lake Arlington has held water. A small lake access fee is charged.

The newly-designated Lake Arlington Paddling Trail was specifically created to attract visitors with canoes and kayaks. Eleven miles of the 20-mile shoreline are included in the trail among the three municipal parks. Although the lakefront is privately owned, the City of Arlington retains an easement up to the flood-stage waterline, so there are no homes very close to the water in most areas. Much of the shoreline is left natural, with grasses and shrubs providing shelter to a variety of wildlife. Fishermen enjoy attempting to catch white crappie, white bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish and Florida largemouth bass. The Florida strain of bass has been stocked in the past by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; although not as prolific here as in some Texas reservoirs, the bass are always a challenge that anglers are eager to attempt. There are no camping facilities at Lake Arlington, but Cedar Hill State Park at nearby Joe Pool Reservoir is less than 20 miles east and offers both camping and swimming facilities.

Lake Arlington is ideal for a day’s outing for those visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area with its many entertainment attractions. Some of the nearby points of interest to sports fans include the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium and the Texas Rangers’ home, Globe Life Park with its Legends of The Game Museum.

Many of the lodgings choices available are near such child-friendly amusements as the Six-Flags amusement park with its exciting water park, a Ripley’s Believe-It-Or-Not museum and a wax museum. Adults will enjoy the Metropolitan Classical Ballet, Symphony Arlington, newly-renovated Arlington Music Hall, and exhibits at the Arlington Museum of Art, along with a wide variety of nightlife and dining choices. All ages will enjoy the hands-on science exhibits at American Airlines’ C.R. Smith Museum. The annual Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo draws fans from around the world in mid-winter, while the Mesquite Pro Rodeo east of Dallas sponsors major events year-round.

If it’s shopping that catches the family’s eye, the entire area surrounding Lake Arlington is filled with exciting and interesting mall complexes, often featuring special events and displays. Arlington offers a number of local parks and festivals throughout the year. And for golf lovers, there is an excellent 18-hole course just north of Lake Arlington. With such nearby amenities, it is no wonder that housing developments at Lake Arlington are an excellent value.

Lake Arlington was created in 1957 after a nearly 10-year drought convinced area leaders that a reliable supply of water was a worthy investment. The reservoir encompassed a former small private reservoir. Although there were naysayers who claimed the newly-created reservoir would never fill, a 100-year rain deluge filled the lake completely within 30 days-and also prevented massive flooding. The lake also provides cooling water for a nearby fossil fuel generating plant. The resulting warm water provides an attractive location for fish during cooler weather, and fishermen often head for the outlets to try their luck. Water for the several municipalities that utilize it is distributed by the Tarrant Regional Water District. Regional water needs control how much water is withdrawn, and lake levels vary accordingly.

The area surrounding Lake Arlington offers all types of accommodations, including large chain hotels, smaller motel and guest cottages, bed & breakfasts, and ranch stays not far outside of the city. No trip to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area is complete without a day on the water. And no place is more convenient than Lake Arlington.

Things to do at Lake Arlington

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Amusement Park
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lake Arlington

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Flathead Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • White Bass
  • White Crappie

Lake Arlington Photo Gallery

Lake Arlington Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: City of Arlington/ Tarrant Regional Water District

Surface Area: 1,939 acres

Shoreline Length: 20 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 550 feet

Maximum Depth: 51 feet

Water Volume: 40,188 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1957

Drainage Area: 143 sq. miles

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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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