Lake Texoma

Lake Texoma

Infobox lake
lake_name = Lake Texoma
image_lake = Lake Texoma.jpg
caption_lake = The Oklahoma shores slope toward the water's edge
image_bathymetry =
caption_bathymetry =
location = Texas/Oklahoma
coords = coord|33|49|55|N|96|34|16|W|type:waterbody_region:US_source:gnis|display=inline,title
type = reservoir
inflow = Red River, Washita River
outflow = Red River
catchment = convert|39719|sqmi|abbr=on
basin_countries = United States
length =
width =
area = 89,000 acres (360 km²)
depth =
max-depth =
volume = convert|2525568|acre.ft|km3|abbr=on|lk=on
residence_time =
shore =
elevation = 615 to 619 ft (187 to 189 m)
islands =
cities = Denison, Sherman, Gainesville (Texas); Durant, Ardmore, Madill, (Oklahoma)

Lake Texoma is one of the largest reservoirs in the United States, the 12th largestcite web | url = | title = Tulsa District Lake Info (Lake Texoma) | accessdate = 2007-04-14] Corps of Engineers (USACE) lake, and the largest in USACE Tulsa District. Lake Texoma is formed by Denison Dam on the Red River in Bryan County, Oklahoma, and Grayson County, Texas, about convert|726|mi|km upstream from the mouth of the river. Its surface spreads over 89,000 acres (360 km²) at the confluence of the Red River and Washita Rivers. The damsite is approximately convert|5|mi|km northwest of Denison, Texas, and convert|15|mi|km southwest of Durant, Oklahoma. Lake Texoma is in Bryan, Marshall, Johnston, and Love counties, Oklahoma; and in Grayson and Cooke counties, Texas. [ [ "Denison-Dam Denison Dam (dam, Texas, United States)"] , "Encyclopædia Britannica" (online edition), retrieved July 6, 2007]

Denison Dam and Lake Texoma were authorized for construction by the Flood Control Act approved June 28, 1938, (Public Law 75-791) for flood control and generation of hydroelectric power. The dam, spillway, and outlet works were started in August 1939 and completed in February 1944. At that time, Denison Dam was the largest rolled, earthfilled dam in the United States. The project was put into operation for flood control in January 1944. The first hydroelectric turbine was placed in operation in March 1945, while a second unit became operational in September 1949. Normal elevation of the conservation pool varies from 615 to 619 ft (187 to 189 m) National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) depending on the time of year. The flood control pool extends to elevation 645 ft (197 m) NGVD. The lake has crested the dam's spillway at a height of 640 ft (195.07 m) three times: once in 1957, again in 1990, and most recently on July 7, 2007. [cite web | url = | title = Lake Texoma Finally Over Spillway | accessdate = 2007-07-08] (USACE 2003a).


Lake Texoma is the most developed and most popular lake within the USACE Tulsa District, attracting approximately 6 million visitors a yearcite web | url = | title = Tulsa District Lake Info (Lake Texoma) | accessdate = 2007-04-14] . This is largely attributed to its sheer size as well as its proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, about a two hour's drive south of the lake. Notable cities surrounding the lake in Texas are Denison, Sherman and Gainesville. In Oklahoma, notable cities are Durant and Ardmore. The Lake Texoma area, known simply as Texoma or Texomaland to locals, is experiencing a rapid period of economic growth due to its large number of tourists.


Diverse recreational opportunities are abundant. The lake area includes two wildlife refuges, two state parks, fifty four USACE-managed parks, twelve marinas, twenty-six resorts, hundreds of campgrounds and a variety of excellent golf courses. Power boating, sailing, personal watercraft, water sking and wind surfing are all popular pursuits. Lake Texoma has become a major sailing center based on the lake's size, depth and miles of sailing shoreline.

During the spring break and Fourth of July holidays, many college students who have returned home for the holidays will join together in an area called "Fobb Bottom." Fobb Bottom, located on the Oklahoma side of the lake, becomes the focus for a huge party and becomes very crowded during these holidays.

Former professional Funny Car race driver "Flash" Gordon Mineo organized many "Poker Run" events on Lake Texoma. On September 2, 2006, Gordon Mineo and four other people, including his wife, Ann, were killed in a high-speed collision on the lake. Gordon was piloting his own boat, the "Flash Gordon", when he collided with the Nashville Catz, operated by Bruce Gibson. Bruce Gibson's wife, Myra, died at the scene, as did the three passengers in the Flash Gordon. Gordon survived the initial impact and was transported via emergency helicopter to the hospital. During the airlift, however, he succumbed to his injuries. Gordon was officially pronounced dead at Texoma Medical Center in Denison, Texas. Bruce Gibson is the sole survivor of the accident.


Management of the fishery resources at Lake Texoma is the responsibility of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Lake Texoma provides habitat for at least 70 species of fish, several of which were introduced by the ODWC and TPWD. These agencies maintain a supplemental stocking program to improve the fishery resource. Those species popular for recreational fishing include largemouth, spotted, white, and striped bass (Micropterus salmoides, M. punctulatus, Morone chrysops, and M. saxatalis); white crappie (Pomoxis annularis); and channel, blue, and flathead catfish (Ictalarus punctatus, I. furcatus, and Pylodictis olivaris); The striped bass fishery at Lake Texoma is extremely popular and is considered one of the most successful striped fisheries in the nation. In addition, downstream of the dam is a tailwater fishery that supports striped bass, as well as channel, blue, and flathead catfish. Gizzard shad (Dorosoma cepedianum), threadfin shad (D. petenense), and Mississippi silverside (Menidia audens) are considered important forage species in the lake. Freshwater drum (Aplodinotus grunniens), carp (Cyprinus carpio ), gar (Lepisosteus spp.), buffalo (Ictiobus spp.), and river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio ) make up the bulk of rough fishes in the lake.

The lake was stocked with striped bass in the late 1960s, and has proven to be an excellent habitat for them. It is one of the seven U.S. inland lakes where the striped bass reproduce naturally, instead of being farmed and released into the waters. The "stripers" feed on large schools of shad, and often reach sizes of 12 to 20 pounds (5 to 9 kg), with a lake record of 35.12 lb (15.93 kg) caught April 25, 1984. The town of Kingston, Oklahoma, celebrates the importance of striper fishing to the local area with the annual Kingston Striper Festival each September.

In 2004, a blue catfish was pulled from the lake weighing in at 121.5 pounds (55.1 kg), temporarily setting a world weight record for rod and reel caught catfish. The fish was moved to a freshwater aquarium in Athens, Texas. More commonly, catfish in Lake Texoma weigh from 5 up to about 70 pounds (2 to 30 kg).

Historically, Texas and Oklahoma have not had a reciprocal fishing license agreement, which has posed a problem for anglers. Recent boundary resolutions have given Oklahoma jurisdiction over most of the fishing in Lake Texoma. An Oklahoma fishing license allows fishing most of the lake, up to within 400 yards (370 m) of Denison Dam. To fish the entire lake, a Lake Texoma fishing license is also available.

Recent Transfers of Public Land to Private Developers

The Water Resources Development Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-53 113 Stat. 359), authorized USACE to sell to the state of Oklahoma approximately convert|1580|acre|km2 of federally-owned land on the north shore of Lake Texoma in Marshall County, Oklahoma, under lease at that time to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. The land was part of the Lake Texoma State Park, a conglomerate of state-owned lands and federally-owned lands leased to the state, totaling approximately convert|1882|acre|km2. The park was home to numerous state and concession operated facilities and activities, including a resort lodge with 106 guest rooms and suites.

Initially the State of Oklahoma Commissioners of the Land Office purchased only convert|558|acre|km2 from USACE in March 2007. Soon after, the State reached an agreement with Pointe Vista Development, LLC, for the sale of approximately 750 acres (to include the land purchased from USACE and land already owned by the State) for the development of home sites and an upscale resort. Pointe Vista is a partnership between Mark Fischer, president and chief executive of Chaparral Energy, and Aubrey McClendon, chairman and chief executive of Chesapeake Energy. Also in 2007, the Governor of Oklahoma, Brad Henry, indicated that the state would likely purchase all or most of the remaining land at Texoma State Park under lease from USACE to transfer to Pointe Vista for further development. The new development is proposed to include 18–36 holes of championship golf, a club house and practice facility, aquatic center, outdoor recreation center, nature parks, campgrounds, retail shops and an amphitheater. It is estimated that the new development will cost $360 million, which will also include housing, as well as a full-service hotel with restaurants, gym, business center, multiple swimming pools, spa and meeting rooms. The proposed private community will have 250–350 high-end homes, ranging in size from 1,500 to 4,000 square feet (140 to 370 m²).

The popular Lake Texoma Lodge, which opened in 1956, officially closed its doors on December 1, 2006. As of May 2008, new development has yet to begin. Local area businesses have expressed concern at the loss of tourism revenue currently being experienced, and that without a lodge or hotel of some kind capable of housing large groups, a significant reduction in business will continue to be experienced. Early estimates are it could be anywhere from 3 to 8 years before anything new is in place to house large groups visiting the lake.

Section 3182(j) of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2007, authorizes USACE to convey approximately convert|900|acre|km2 of land at Lake Texoma to the city of Denison, Texas. The provision was backed by U.S. Congressman Ralph Hall (R) as an economic development initiative. The sale is to be at fair market value and the city of Denison is responsible for all costs associated with the transaction (costs for completing NEPA compliance documentation, surveys, appraisals, USACE administrative costs, etc.). The city in turn intends to sell the property to George Schuler, a local developer, for the creation of a private residential and recreational development on the conveyed land and adjacent land already owned by Mr. Schuler. The eventual development may result in as many as 10,000 residents locating in the Grandpappy Point area.

The city and Mr. Schuler attempted to lease the same land from the Corps of Engineers in 2004, but abandoned those attempts in favor of legislation mandating the transfer, due to the inability to use the land for the intended purposes under a lease without an update of the Corps Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for Lake Texoma. The majority of the land is currently zoned as Limited Development, Protected Area (suitable for nature hiking, birdwatching, etc.) and Aesthetic or Scenic areas. The Corps has previously stated that any revision of the SMP will require the completion of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the entire Lake Texoma project that will consider the cumulative impacts of the extensive development that has occurred around the Lake since the original EIS was conducted in the 1970s. Completion of a lake-wde SEIS has been estimated by the Corps to take up to 2 years to complete at a cost of approxiamtely $2.5 Million. Since Section 3182(j) contained no provisions exempting the sale from the requirements of NEPA, it is expected that completion of the SEIS and revision of the SMP will also be required prior to compeltion of the sale, and that the city of Denison will be required to bear that as a cost associated with the transaction.


External links

* [ Army Corps of Engineers: lake level]
* [ Lake Texoma State Park (Oklahoma)]
* [ Sherman Texas]
* [ Eisenhower Birthplace]
* [ Denison Texas]

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