Lake Texoma, Oklahoma & Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Oklahoma - Arbuckle Country - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

Also known as:  Texoma Lake

An 89,000-acre jewel set into the landscape of Texas and Oklahoma, Lake Texoma is a sparkling wonder of deep blue water and beautiful green shores. With more than 6 million annual visitors, the lake offers everything from water skiing to scenic nature hikes. Two-thirds of Lake Texoma lies in Oklahoma.

Before the creation of Lake Texoma by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the area was a rural slice of American wilderness, with historic sites such as Fort Washita and home of future United States president Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 1938, the Flood Control Act authorized construction of the Denison Dam on the Red River and therefore the formation of Lake Texoma, forever altering the future of the area. At the time, the Denison Dam was the largest rolled, earth-filled dam and is now the 12th largest in volume in the U.S. In 1944, the dam began its job of flood control, and in 1945, the first hydroelectric turbine was put into operation. Today, the lake provides flood control and hydroelectric power generation, in addition to being a premier Texas-Oklahoma recreation destination.

Oklahoma’s Lake Texoma State Park is a great starting point for your lake vacation. Offering bicycle rentals, boat rentals, horseback riding, houseboat rentals, campsites, fishing, picnic areas, and a swim beach, the State Park is a one-stop shop for many of your lake needs. Drop a line into the lake and hope for the next record-setting catfish or smallmouth bass, take a dip in the refreshing lake waters, or use the park as your starting point for a day out on the lake waters. And if camping tickles your fancy, stay overnight and enjoy all 24 hours at Lake Texoma, watching as the stars come out and the woods come alive with nocturnal animals.

The Texas side offers Eisenhower State Park, about an hour north of Dallas. Hike or bike more than four miles of trails along high bluffs, take a dip at the sandy swimming cove, explore backcountry woodland by ATV or dirt bike, and fish for striped bass, catfish, and crappie. Campsites and RV sites are available for longer stays. Join ranger programs, such as stargazing, and kids can become a Junior Ranger.

Another ideal introduction to the lake is to hike along the Cross Timbers Hiking Trail, a 14-mile stretch of scenic overlooks, dense woodlands, and vast prairie land along the lake’s southern shore in Texas. As you walk, you’ll pass through prairies and catch glimpses of the Southern Plains, wondrous in their flat, tree-free landscapes. Traverse the lake’s ridge and bask in the beauty of startling vistas and lake panoramas. As you walk the trail, you’ll find yourself closer to nature and the beautiful manmade Lake Texoma.

Lake Texoma’s vast acreage and 580 miles of shoreline are best explored by boat. There are many marinas around the lake that rent power boats, jet skis, and pontoon boats, as well as slower-paced canoes and kayaks for your peaceful pleasure. If you’re a true lakelubber, consider renting one of the lake’s signature houseboats. Drifting along the peaceful waters at night, dining under the stars, and awaking to the gentle rocking of the waves will convince you that lake living is best done right on the water. Regardless of your boating preference, get out on the lake and start your investigations. Though it’s impossible to see the entire reservoir in one trip, Lake Texoma is home to vast beauty and shoreline secrets that will entertain you all day long.

Adrenaline junkies and speed demons will not be disappointed with the lake’s offerings: water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, and windsurfing are all popular summer activities. Depending on your skill level, rent a boat or take a class on your chosen water sport, and prepare to spend a day drinking in the warm sun and testing your skills at one of the country’s most popular reservoirs.

One of the lake’s favorite and most popular activities is fishing, and anglers make annual pilgrimages to these shores. Swimming beneath the sparkling surface are black crappie, bluegill, blue catfish, channel catfish, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, spotted bass, white crappie, and white bass. Crappie bite best during warming trends. Lake Texoma is one of the few reservoirs in the nation where striped bass reproduce naturally. Your best bets are with the lake’s large populations of blue catfish, smallmouth bass, and striped bass, so get your rods ready and prepare to make another Lake Texoma fishing record. Before you do, you must buy a Lake Texoma fishing license.

Though Lake Texoma’s aquatic offerings are great, the lake also offers off-water pleasures such as fine dining. You can find any type of restaurant here, from family-style to reservation-only, but you’ll find that no matter the type, southern charm is always in full swing. With a healthy mix of on and off the lake fun, a day at Lake Texoma will leave you tired, full, and ready for tomorrow’s adventures.

Things to do at Lake Texoma

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • State Park

Fish species found at Lake Texoma

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Blue Catfish
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Spotted Bass
  • Striped Bass
  • Sunfish
  • White Bass
  • White Crappie

Lake Texoma Photo Gallery

Lake Texoma Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 89,000 acres

Shoreline Length: 580 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 615 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 590 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 640 feet

Average Depth: 31 feet

Maximum Depth: 100 feet

Water Volume: 2,566,946 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1944

Drainage Area: 39,719 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

Spread the word! Share our Lake Texoma article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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."


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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.


Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.