Ray Roberts Lake, Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

Also known as:  Ray Roberts Reservoir, Lake Ray Roberts, Lake Aubrey

Sprawling across the prairie in the Texas Prairies & Lakes Region, Ray Roberts Lake is one of the newest lakes in Texas. Named after a Texas legislator, this huge reservoir was filled in 1990 to provide a water source for the cities of Denton and Dallas. Located 30 miles north of the Lewisville Dam, Ray Roberts Lake acts as water storage for Lewisville Lake and direct water supply for Denton 12 miles away. When the Army Corps of Engineers built the dam across Elm Fork on the upper reaches of the Trinity River, it submerged forever land roamed by the Comanche, Kiowa, and Tonkawa before the advent of European settlers. Through careful management, Lake Ray Roberts has become one of the premier fishing lakes in Texas. The entire shoreline is public lands under the management of Texas Parks and Wildlife. Several state park units have been developed to provide camping, fishing, picnicking, walking trails, wildlife viewing, cycling, skateboarding, swimming and boating.

In a land of scarce water resources, Texas Parks and Wildlife is committed to providing the largest possible amount of recreational opportunities at Ray Roberts Lake. Two State Park units, Johnson’s Branch and Isle du Bois, are situated along the southern part of the lake. Six satellite units provide concession accommodations including a full-service lodge with excellent modern rooms, a restaurant and even horse boarding for equestrians. Another unit sports a full-service marina with boat launch, slip rental, watercraft rentals and all necessary marine amenities. Camping facilities are available for any size recreational vehicle or primitive camp. Water skiing is a favorite at Ray Roberts Lake, with sailing, wind surfing, tubing, pontooning, power boating, canoeing and kayaking engaged in also. Swimming areas are particularly well attended in the hot summer months. Only an hour’s drive from Dallas, Lake Ray Roberts is a popular spot for week-enders.

A wealth of trails, many paved, surround the main usage areas and are popular for mountain biking and skateboarding. The 29,350-acre lake is a part of the Ray Roberts Lake Wildlife Management Area. Open for hunting in selected areas during season, the area is also excellent for wildlife viewing and bird watching. Some of the more common species seen are waterfowl (ducks, geese teal, doves), feral hogs, rabbits, hares and squirrels. Other wildlife consists of raccoons, gray foxes, coyotes, beavers and opossums. Bald eagles nest here in winter, and other migratory birds arrive in spring for a stop-over on their way north. A 20-mile greenbelt pathway meanders along the banks of the Trinity River outlet from the dam area south.

Fishermen the world over dream of a fishing trip to Ray Roberts Lake. The most popular game fish sought are largemouth bass, white bass, channel catfish, crappie and sunfish. The many shoals and bays hold an amazing number of record-breaking bass and catfish. Because the size of the lake makes it difficult for a visiting fisherman to ferret out the hot spots, several fishing guide services exist in the immediate area to lead the fishing party to a successful catch. Many fishermen return year after year for another chance at a 40-pound channel cat or nine-pound bass.

For time away from the water, there are several quaint small towns near the Ray Roberts Lake shores. Pilot Point is located near the dam at the south end. The oldest settlement in Denton County, Pilot Point has served as the backdrop for several movies set in the Old West. Those needing groceries or incidentals can easily pick them up in either Pilot Point or Tioga, farther north on the lake. Located on one of the eastern arms of the lake, Tioga was the birthplace of America’s Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry. A somewhat larger town, Sanger, lies only a mile or so west of the lake. Vacation rentals are available in Sanger and in Denton, 12 miles southwest of the lake.

Home of two state universities and a rich history, Denton is well-supplied with nightlife and festivals. Called the “Redbud Capital of Texas,” the town is known for its active music life. The annual North Texas State Fair and Rodeo and the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival are major events that attract over 300,000 people. All types of lodgings are available in the Denton area. Fifty miles south of Lake Ray Roberts is the heart of downtown Dallas, with its large sports venues, shopping, museums and art galleries.

Although the area between Dallas and Denton is a growing business corridor, real estate is still available in every price range. After spending a week fishing and boating Ray Roberts Lake, visitors may find themselves seeking out real estate listings, hoping for just the right property for a vacation home or year-round residence. After all, what could be better than some of the largest bass in Texas only an hour away from the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolis? Come to Ray Roberts Lake and see for yourself!

Things to do at Ray Roberts Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wind Surfing
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Ray Roberts Lake

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

Ray Roberts Lake Photo Gallery

Ray Roberts Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: US Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 29,350 acres

Shoreline Length: 90 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 633 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 632 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 640 feet

Average Depth: 27 feet

Maximum Depth: 106 feet

Water Volume: 1,930,900 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1987

Drainage Area: 692 sq. miles

Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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