Stillhouse Hollow Lake, Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Texas - Prairies and Lakes -

As the sun dips below the horizon, a great blue heron surveys the waters at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Crickets begin their twilight melody as the heron stands quietly at the Texas lake’s edge. Suddenly, the large bird lurches forward, unfurling its wings and skimming across the clear water to find a final resting place for the night.

Sights such as these are plentiful at Stillhouse Hollow Lake, a wide and deep artificial reservoir located near Belton, Texas. The 6,430-acre lake resides in the eastern portion of the great state, within the Prairies and Lakes tourism region. Its 58 miles of shoreline rests entirely in Bell County.

Stillhouse Hollow Lake was originally created to fill recreation needs, along with developing fish and wildlife habitat, flood damage reduction and water conservation. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which maintains the lake, began construction in June of 1962, completing the project six years later at the cost of $24.5 million. The lake was first known as Lampasas Lake, named after the Lampasas River which drains into the body of water.

Jumping to present day, Stillhouse Hollow Lake and its immediate surroundings are now a hotbed full of wildlife, retirees and recreation seekers. With an average depth dropping down to 36 feet and a maximum depth of 107 feet, the lake’s clear waters holds an assortment of fish for anglers. Largemouth bass reveal themselves more in the spring and fall, while white bass come out in early spring. Smallmouth bass and channel catfish can be fished for year round; crappie and flathead catfish stick to certain areas in the lake, like submerged brushpiles or in the upper portion of the lake.

Summer residents and vacationers have a choice between accessing Stillhouse Hollow Lake by boat or by beach. Multiple boating ramps are located throughout the lake and a marina can be found at the lake’s eastern most shore to stock up on boating supplies.

Two of the four parks at the Stillhouse Hollow Lake have swimming beaches available for recreational fun. Spread out a towel and soak up the sun’s bountiful rays or have a sandcastle-making contest near the shore. The clear waters provide a great opportunity for beginner snorkelers as well.

With so much surface area, water enthusiasts have ample space to water ski, wakeboard, kayak or sail across Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Grab the kids and perfect your wakeboarding skills, slice across the water on water skis, or make a game of trying to flip a friend off a colorful inner tube. Vacation rentals and real estate are available and make for a quick trip to and from the water.

Those looking to explore the nearby woods for wildlife watching will find plenty of opportunities throughout the area at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Slap on sturdy hiking books and trek across Chalk Ridge Falls, a five mile trail that winds through tall trees and across an old suspension bridge, eventually revealing a picturesque waterfall. Dana Peak Trail is perfect for any equestrian searching for solitude in the north section of the park. Both of these trails are open year round and, with stealth and good fortune, the woods will provide unique glances at doves, waterfowl, rabbits and quail.

Hunters have access to the numerous wildlife management areas at Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Camping is available for both hunters and those seeking silence under the stars. Pitch a tent, roll out a warm sleeping bag and listen to night owls hooting softly under the moon’s bright gaze.

Stillhouse Hollow Lake is practically within shouting distance to the city of Belton, a mere five miles away. The city is chock full of daytime and nighttime activities, from a theater and trail rides to bike trails, paintball courses, true Texas rodeos and lively county fairs. Pick any time of year to sample the city’s sushi or steakhouse restaurants, or delve into Belton’s deep history while visiting their classic museum.

Less than 15 miles away from Stillhouse Hollow Lake rests its sister lake, known as Belton Lake. Belton Lake offers 136 miles of shoreline, complete with beaches for sunbathing, picnic sites for grilling out, and boating for anyone wishing to feel the lake wind whipping against their face.

Discover your own sense of wonderment at Stillhouse Hollow Lake through its magnificent hiking trails for the outdoor enthusiast, clear waters for the angler or snorkeler and abundant wildlife for the bird watcher. Visiting Stillhouse Hollow Lake allows you to be only minutes away from its thriving city or its peaceful lake waters.

Things to do at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Wakeboarding
  • Tubing
  • Snorkeling
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Hunting
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum

Fish species found at Stillhouse Hollow Lake

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

Stillhouse Hollow Lake Photo Gallery

Stillhouse Hollow Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 6,430 acres

Shoreline Length: 58 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 622 feet

Average Depth: 36 feet

Maximum Depth: 107 feet

Water Volume: 235,700 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1968

Drainage Area: 1,318 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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