Toledo Bend Reservoir, Louisiana & Texas, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - South - Louisiana - Crossroads - Southwest - Texas - Piney Woods -

Also known as:  Toledo Bend Lake

A grand experience is assured in visiting Toledo Bend Reservoir, renowned as the largest man-made aquatic body in the southern United States. Cradled on the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana, the lake meanders along for 65 miles and occupies a refreshing 1200 miles of shoreline. This extravagant length of shallow bayous and coves boasts a wondrous collage of sunny wildflowers, lakeside cottages, and vibrant birds.

The Toledo Bend Project began as a joint endeavor between the Sabine River Authorities of Texas and Louisiana in April 1964. Spread across three bordering counties, Shelby, Newton, and Sabine, the reservoir initiated water impoundment in October 1966. Construction of the dam was intended to curb the disastrous effects of flooding by the Sabine River. Nonetheless, Toledo Bend Reservoir has primarily served as a source of municipal water supply, hydroelectric power generation, and, most notably, a myriad of recreational activities.

The massive size of Toledo Bend Reservoir courts an equally large number of visitors, and for good reason. The welcoming waters of the beautiful lake invite adventurers for a swim or boating exploration. Of course, waterskiing is also a popular choice. However, it comes as no surprise that a lake branded as one of America’s five best for bass fishing is an angler’s paradise. Everyone will be astonished by the remarkable 300 pounds of fish per acre. Year-round, fishing enthusiasts can prowl Toledo Bend Lake for largemouth bass, catfish, and crappie. During the spring, anglers are likely to spot freshly spawned channel, blue, and flathead catfish, white bass, and sunfish. Fishing competitions, such as the Toledo Bend or Livingston Tournaments, add to the excitement of an already thrilling sport.

If the over 180,000 acres of rippling lake water aren’t enough, hikers at Toledo Bend Reservoir are in for a treat. The 28-mile Trail Between the Lakes is a nature-lover’s dream, sprawling through the Sabine National Forest. Vigilant eyes will catch glimpses of deer, red-cockaded woodpeckers, and other wildlife. As though that were not enough, other attractive and convenient trails include Stockers Hill and Canyon Rim, both offering splendidly picturesque scenery.

Hiking is not the only physical endeavor for landlubbers at Toledo Bend Lake, as camping and RV sites, nightclubs, and restaurants line the lively shoreline. For golfers, Cypress Bend Golf Course is a championship 18-hole course that delivers a breathtaking view of the lake while the clubs are swinging. Lakeside cottages, resorts, rental houses, and marinas further populate the shoreline, ceding well-deserved relaxation to sun-bathed residents.

What may be most striking of all is the reserved beauty of Toledo Bend Reservoir. Wildflowers blanket the area; monolithic pines and shade trees crowd the blue Southern skies. Bird watchers will appreciate the flocks of egrets, pelicans, geese, ducks, and bald eagles that make the lake their home. Remarkably, there have even been reported sightings of the ivory-billed woodpecker in the area, a bird once believed extinct. Toledo Bend Lake is also home to armadillos, raccoons, beavers, foxes, and white tail deer. Toting a moderate climate and an annual rainfall of 50 inches, the reservoir is the perfect hot spot for year-round recreation.

Located 24 miles northeast of Jasper, Texas, Toledo Bend Lake is a must-see for all vacationers dreaming of a lake that has it all. But be warned. Anywhere Italian and Mexican food, fishing, and gorgeous scenery meet is a place folks usually refrain from leaving.

Things to do at Toledo Bend Reservoir

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Toledo Bend Reservoir

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

Toledo Bend Reservoir Photo Gallery

Toledo Bend Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Sabine River Authority

Surface Area: 181,600 acres

Shoreline Length: 1,264 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 172 feet

Average Depth: 24 feet

Maximum Depth: 110 feet

Water Volume: 4,477,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1969

Drainage Area: 7,178 sq. miles

Trophic State: Mesotrophic

Spread the word! Share our Toledo Bend Reservoir 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.