Lavon Lake, Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

Also known as:  Lake Lavon, Lavon Reservoir

Lavon Lake holds a special spot in the affections of residents northeast of Dallas. The reservoir, located on the East Fork of the Trinity River in the Prairies and Lakes region, does double-duty by providing flood control and water supply to several towns in the area. What stands out to most local residents and visitors is the wealth of recreational opportunities offered by the relatively new lake. The Lavon Dam, constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), was completed in 1953; public access and recreational facilities were planned from the start. Publicly-accessible parks, boat launch ramps, picnic grounds and campgrounds provide plenty of space along the 121-mile shoreline for public enjoyment. The dam was enlarged to increase water capacity in 1974, and the lake now offers 21,400 acres of water-based fun.

Long and narrow, Lake Lavon holds several arms and numerous coves and bays that provide plenty of protected shoreline, making the lake ideal for power boating, sailing, wind surfing, kite surfing, water skiing and fishing. Two concessions operate full-service marinas along the lakeshore, with winter slip rentals, dry dock facilities, repairs, fuel, restaurants and courtesy docks. Only 22 miles from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Lake Lavon is ‘home port’ for many city sailors. One private yacht club operates at the lake and holds regular regattas and sailboat races. Canoes and kayaks can be seen paddling the secluded bays and irregular shore. Smaller boats and fishing craft can take advantage of the many boat ramps and courtesy docks at several of the parks spaced around the shoreline. Some locations, such as boat ramps at parks with swimming beaches, charge a small fee while others are free. Many regular visitors and fishermen take advantage of a seasonal pass-for around $30-that covers all of the USACE-operated parks and other Corps lake parks in the area. Some of the boat ramps are closed in winter, but others operate year-round, except when water levels drop too far to make them usable.

Lake Lavon, officially named Lavon Lake, is a popular spot with fishermen. The lake supports channel catfish, sand bass, largemouth bass, blue catfish, white bass, flathead catfish, crappie and a variety of sunfish. Texas Parks and Wildlife regularly stocks Florida-strain largemouth bass and striped bass. Although there is little weed cover lying under the reservoir’s waters, the northern arms and river inlet areas hold a lot of standing timber that provides excellent fishing opportunities for crappie in particular. Handicap-accessible Caddo Park also offers three fishing ponds. Pebble Beach Park, Ticky Creek Park, Avalon Park, Mallard Park and East Fork Park all have swim beaches available, but none have lifeguards on duty. Small campgrounds are available at Clear Lake Park, East Fork Park, Lakeland Park, Lavonia Park and Little Ridge Park, with group camping facilities at Brockdale Park. Collins Park is operated by the marina at that location and provides camping sites also. Several additional parks provide picnic grounds with grills and boat ramps. The USACE office near the dam can provide information on most facilities located at the reservoir.

The Lavon Lake shoreline is in public hands, with USACE working with Texas Parks and Wildlife to maintain several wildlife areas along the lake. A 75-mile primitive hiking and cycling trail between Princeton and Farmersville runs along the lake and can be accessed from Sister Grove Park. The trail is open for day-use only, so camping is not permitted. Several areas are designated for hunting during various seasons, with small mammals, waterfowl and feral hogs pursued. As the area is managed for white tail deer sustainability, deer hunting is not allowed until population levels increase. All State hunting and fishing licenses and regulations apply to USACE lands in the area, with occasional special restrictions based on specific management needs. Hunters should always check current regulations before beginning the hunt.

Although there are some housing developments located near Lake Lavon, none are right at the water’s edge, so the shoreline remains undeveloped. Many homes have water views, but private docks are not allowed. From the water, the area looks wild and unspoiled, with wildlife sightings common. Much of the area is farm or ranch land, although the few small towns near the lake have begun to offer amenities geared toward lake visitors. Some of the businesses in the area also rent boats and sports equipment for use at the lake. First-time visitors can find fishing guides locally to help scout the unfamiliar waters. And a few local resorts rent cabins near the lake, although not on the lakefront. The City of Wylie is near the dam and offers some lodgings in the form of chain hotels and motels. Campers will find any supplies not available at the marinas in Wylie, along with the usual banking and fast-food services.

Those looking for a wider variety of shopping and entertainment choices can head to the City of Rockwall, less than ten miles to the south. Lake Ray Hubbard is just south of Lake Lavon and offers wineries, lodging choices, golf courses and parks. Rockwall offers eclectic shopping, nightlife and entertainment. Just a short three-mile jaunt across the I-30 Causeway, the City of Dallas offers big-city charms only 22 miles from Lake Lavon. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is well-known as home to large amusement parks, theaters, museums, arts venues and upscale shopping at its large world-renowned malls. A vacation at Lavon Lake can include both quiet lakeside camping and big-city excitement. Dallas has all sorts of lodging opportunities to suit every possible need and may be the perfect compromise vacation for families that include ‘power’ shoppers and water sports fans. So pick out your spot, decide on your sport or entertainment, and head toward Dallas and Lake Lavon for the vacation bound to please the entire family.

Things to do at Lavon Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Kite Surfing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Amusement Park
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lavon Lake

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

Lavon Lake Photo Gallery

Lavon Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 21,400 acres

Shoreline Length: 121 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 492 feet

Maximum Depth: 59 feet

Water Volume: 380,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1974

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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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