Map and Information
This 89,000 acre lake on the Red River is shared by Texas and Oklahoma. It is widely recognized as a top fishing lake, and is one of the most popular recreation destinations in the Southwest. Lake Texoma was built by the Corps of Engineers in the 1940's, and was stocked with black bass and crappie along with the native white bass in the Red and Washita Rivers. The introduction of the striped bass has been very successful.
The lake area includes two wildlife refuges, two state parks, fifty-four U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-managed parks, twenty-six resorts, hundreds of campgrounds and a variety of excellent golf courses. Power boating, powersailing, personal watercraft, water skiers and wind surfers all consider the lake an excellent place to have fun. Lake Texoma has become a huge sailing center based on the lake's size, depth and miles of sailing shoreline.
The idea for the dam began a hundred years ago. After a devastating flood in 1908, authorization to begin construction was given to the Corps of Engineers in 1938. The reservoir began to fill in 1944. Today the dam hods 89,000 surface acres of water at normal levels. The power plant is capable of 70,000 kilowatts of power.
More than nine million visitors each year enjoy superb fishing and watersports.
On the north shore of the Washita arm of Lake Texoma, in northwestern Bryan County, lies the partially restored ruins of old Fort Washita. The frontier military post was built on a site selected and named by General Zachary Taylor, who became the first post commander in 1843, and later president of the United States. The fort was garrisoned by United States troops until May 1, 1861, when it was abandoned to Confederate forces. Although For Washita was not used as a military establishment after the Civil War, the post office continued in operation until 1880. The site is kept open to the public by the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Bronze plaques make several of the watering stops in the Lake Texoma area that were used to change for fresh horses or pick up mail when the 2,796-mile-long Overland Butterfield stagecoach line was in existence. The Chisholm and Shawnee Trails, over which cattle were driven through Texas and Oklahoma, into the markets in Kansas, also crossed this area. Just below the Dennison Dam is the old Colbert's Crossing, which later became a ferry, the a toll bridge. It was an early day crossing for Indians, military expeditions, outlaw gangs, Texas road freights, and prairie schooners. In Dennison,a President of the United States was born in a white gabled two-story house by the side of a railroad track on October 14, 1890. He was Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose birthplace has been restored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Well marked signs will lead you to this home which is open daily. The Preston Cemetery, which has been relocated at the tip of the Preston Peninsula contains, among other graves, the bodies of Colonel Holland Coffee and Sophia Porter, his second wife. Sophia was known as the Confederate Lady Paul Revere when she swam the icy Red River to alarm the Confederates. She was also known for double intrigue as she flirted with both sides. Also, beside the relocated Preston Cemetery, a granite marker commemorates the Indian Trading Post established in 1837 by Holland Coffee and which is now submerged by Lake Texoma. In Toshomingo is the last capital of the old Chickasaw Nation, a native granite building of Victorian architecture standing on top of a hill. Adjacent to the capital is the Chickasaw Council House Museum. The original log council house was built in 1855 following the relocation of the Chickasaws to Indian Territory. Artifacts and exhibits trace the history of the tribe. The museum is open
Tuesday-Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday-Sunday form 2 PM to 5 PM. The museum is closed Mondays and Holidays. Close at hand are the ruins of the Chickasaw Male Academy established in 1850. At the western edge of Kingston county is the Camp Levenworth marker erected in memory of thee ill-fated expedition of 1834 & made up of the Dragoon Regiment. The site of Camp Levenworth (probably about 4 miles south of the marker) is inundated by Lake Texoma. At Durant, first settled by the Choctaw family of that name in 1870, you may see some of the early day galleried residences with high ceilings and big windows which reflect the influence of the old southern plantation owners' "townhouses." These are characteristic of fine old southern homes which settlers built up and down the valley.
Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge - the entire southern end of the Big Mineral Arm of Lake Texoma shelters all manner of wild animals, birds, and fish. During winter, hundreds of thousands of migrating ducks and geese pause here. In addition, thousands of white pelicans migrate to Hagerman in the spring and fall of each year.
Blue River Wildlife Refuge - Located on Hwy. 78 east and north of Toshomingo. A current state fishing license plus a permit allows anglers to fish daily for six months starting in November each year for rainbow trout planted weekly in a put-and-take type fishing. Toshomingo National Wildlife Refuge - Located on Hwy. 78 east and south of Toshomingo. One of two game refuges located on Lake Texoma. Provides a rest stop for migrating ducks and geese and in holding birds over, affords hunters better shooting in season. Toshomingo National Wildlife Management Area - A hunter's paradise that is open on a first come first served basis to hunters. Because of popularity, hunters are asked to put in written requests for dates during duck and goose season and a drawing is held to notify lucky hunters.
Lake Texoma is a key unit in the main flood control plan for properties in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Power generation, water supply, regulation of stream flows, improvement of navigation in the lower reaches of the Red River, fish, wildlife and recreation are additional benefits of the lake. Releases of water are made through the generation of power, except in time of flood control operation, and will vary from small flows to bank full flows of about 60,000 cubic feet per second. The release depends on such factors as power requirements, the amount of water in storage, river flows, and weather conditions.
Maximum height of dam (above stream bed) 165
Spillway length 2,000
Outlet conduits (3) diameter in feet 20
Power intakes (2) diameter in feet 20
Number of power units 2
Capacity in kilowatts each 35,000
Total generating capacity 70,000
Average annual output (kilowatt hours) 329,293,000
Lake Information Top of Dam (elevation) 670
Top of flood control pool (elevation) 640
Surface of lake at normal pool - acres 89,000
Storage capacities, acre-feet at normal pool 2,722,000
Lake total 5,382,000
Shoreline length, miles at normal pool 580
Watershed - square miles 39,719
Weather: July average maximum 90°F, January average minimum 32°F.
First/last freeze: November 9/March 27.
Wettest months: April and May.