Lake Texoma Information

Come visit Lake Texoma, a nature filled cakewalk of water playgrounds and tons of activities in the southwest US. This lake is located on the Red River of South with the confluence of the Washita River joining it on the border south central Oklahoma and north central Texas. 

Join 6 million visitors from California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, New York, Oklahoma, and Texas to embark on your adventure. It covers 74,686-acres with 550 miles of shoreline between the Oklahoma Counties of Bryan, Love, Johnston, and Marshall and Cooke and Grayson Counties in Texas. 

The Chickasaw Nation owns a large portion of property around Lake Texoma on the Oklahoma side. There are five islands, Hog Island, Little Island, North Island, Treasure Island, West Island, and Wood Island. 

There are three wildlife management areas, Fobb Bottom Wildlife Management Area and Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma and Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge (HNWR) in Texas. 

Other services include camping, equestrian services, camping, casinos, fishing, golfing, hiking, resorts, hotels, motels, parks, shopping, spa retreats, dining, nightlife, historical sites, a nationally renowned biological station, a national fishery, and unique activities like the Extreme Sandbox, a heavy equipment playground, dinner cruises, and a vibrant arts district in Denison, Texas. 

Sheppard Air Force Base Recreation Annex provides a getaway for our active duty servicemen, women, and veterans.

While you can fish, hike, and hunt at the wildlife management areas, Hagerman and Tishomingo are day use only with campgrounds nearby. Fobb Bottom allows camping, but game wardens and staff keep a close eye on these treasured wildlife sanctuaries. The U.S. Corp of Engineers Tulsa District manages most of Lake Texoma’s waterfront property either itself or by leasing shoreline to marinas and businesses. It is illegal to alter anything growing on the shoreline. 

The Denison Dam Forming Lake Texoma

The Denison Dam created Lake Texoma as a reservoir to control flooding back in 1944, during World War II. The dam was a unique feat of engineering by the Army Corps of Engineers because it was, at the time, the largest rolled, earth-filled dam in the United States. That means it was not formed by pouring concrete, but by bulldozing dirt into an enormous, compacted embankment.

In addition to flood control, the Denison Dam was also designed to generate electricity. The first hydroelectric turbine began producing electricity 1945 and continues to operate regularly, depending on the lake level and energy consumption.

Lake Texoma also provides water for several north Texas communities connected to the North Texas Municipal Water District's pipelines. They have been in service since the 1980s, and now extend as far south as Wylie, Allen and Frisco in Texas.

Besides providing flood control, hydroelectric energy and municipal water supplies, Lake Texoma is a well-known recreation spot. Over six million visitors from all over the world come for fishing, boating, camping, hiking, hunting, 4-wheeling, bicycling, horseback riding, golfing and locating fossils of ancient sea creatures in its limestone cliffs every year. There is so much to do in and around Lake Texoma , it's a world-class recreational playground, conveniently located between Dallas and Oklahoma City.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lake Texoma

Is Lake Texoma brackish?

Yes, Lake Texoma's water is brackish due to natural mineral deposits in the Red River basin. That includes calcium, sodium, sulfate and other minerals, which enter the watershed upstream from Lake Texoma. The mineral content is not nearly as high as other commonly brackish waters, like coastal lagoons, but is definitely remarkable for a completely land-locked lake. 

What is Lake Texoma known for?

Lake Texoma is known for its fantastic striped bass population. In fact, the lake is often called the "Striper Capital of the World". Since introduced in the 1960's, striped bass thrive in this lake, and are able to reproduce due to the slightly brackish water that keeps the eggs from sinking into the silty bottom. Today, there are millions of striped bass that call Lake Texoma home.

Are there sharks in Lake Texoma?

No, there are not any sharks in Lake Texoma. In 1988 a sand shark washed ashore, but a wildlife biologist determined that it had been caught on the Gulf Coast and thrown into the lake already dead. 

Is Lake Texoma safe to swim in?

Yes, Lake Texoma is safe to swim in. There are many swim beaches on Lake Texoma to enjoy, and you can always swim from a boat pretty much anywhere on the lake. 

Is Lake Texoma open for swimming?

Yes, Lake Texoma is open for swimming year round. Although the water temperature does get down into the 40s and 50s in the winter time!

Lake Texoma History

The Texoma area has a rich and deep history spanning back to prehistoric times. The true native Texas Oklahoma Indian Nations were the Plains Apache, Caddo, Comanche, Kiowa, and Wichita, and they date back 1,400 years, and many Native communities farmed. Mound culture remains have been found all along the Red River. When the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers began building the Denison Dam which impounds Lake Texoma, they used German POW laborers in two POW camps located in Powell and Tishomingo, Oklahoma, during WWII. 

George Moulton, a Denison businessman, began promoting the construction for a dam at Baer’s Ferry, four miles north of Denison in 1925, because the Red River was known as a mean, mean river when it flooded. People thought George was crazy. Sam Rayburn, speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, jumped in with support along with many other entities in Texas and Oklahoma. Finally, the Flood Control Act of 1938 permitted the funding of the Denison Dam, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened their Denison District Office in June, 1938. Construction took six years at the cost of 54 million dollars for the purposes of flood control, hydropower, and water supply. The U.S. Congress added recreation as a purpose in 1968.

Fishing Lake Texoma

Anglers come from miles and miles to experience the excitement of fighting a Lake Texoma striped bass. Naturally-occurring mineral salts in the soil surrounding and under Lake Texoma provide just the right conditions for Striped Bass to spawn and grow naturally to 15-20 lbs at maturity, and that's why Lake Texoma is known as the Striper Capital of The World. Literally hundreds of Striper fishing guides offer all-inclusive services providing tackle, bait and cleaning, which makes for a great day on the lake any time of year. All you need to bring is your Lake Texoma fishing license (available at local convenience stores) so that you're legal in both Oklahoma and Texas waters.

But Stripers are not the only fish you are likely to pull out of Lake Texoma. At least 70 species inhabit the waters, including largemouth, spotted and white bass, black and white crappie and channel, blue, and flathead catfish. Big cats of 70 to 100 pounds can be found by those who know where to look for them. Once again, there are plenty of commercial fishing guides to show you the way. Weather conditions contribute to your success fishing Lake Texoma, but most guides offer a guaranteed catch to keep their customers happy and coming back each year.

If you have your own boat and gear, and you want to be prepared to catch Striper and other fish on Lake Texoma, you'll want to see how the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department describes it: "Of the 580 miles of shoreline, there are approximately 9 miles of rip-rap, 50 miles of standing timber, and 50 miles of submersed aquatic vegetation. The remainder is cut banks, sandy beaches, rocky shoreline, and bluffs. A shoreline development ratio of 13.88 indicates an irregular and branched shoreline, which also increases habitat for fish." Now, that's good information for sure, but may not be as important as this sage advice from local fisherman, the late Ron "Prune Picker" Ludwig of Mead, Oklahoma who manufactured his own slabs and top-water lures: "If you have a locator, find the fish using it. If not, watch for fish surfacing on top (on a calm day you will be able to see their splashes quite a way off). If the sea gulls are in, watch for them feeding on the shad the fish are chasing, and fish below the gulls. If you are in shallow (15'-20') water, try casting you slab out into, or beyond the fish. Then work the bottom by reeling in and dropping back to the bottom as you retrieve your line. The bigger fish are below the fish feeding on top, picking up stunned shad as they fall. The only problem with this is, you will lose some slabs on the bottom if you happen to be in a rocky or stumpy area, and can not get your slab loose.

Check your line often for cuts by running your thumbnail down the last couple feet of line. Stripers have sharp fins and they can nick your line, causing you to lose your lures (and fish), whether it be a slab or an expensive top water plug."

Jugline fishing for catfish is legal in Lake Texoma with the use of free-floating white-tagged buoys or floats (usually recycled plastic jugs) with a drop-line that holds three to five baited hooks. Any Striper or other fish caught on juglines must be released.

Guides on Lake Texoma serve anglers from miles and miles around for the many game fish available in this lake. Whatever fish you want to catch, you will find a guide that’s an expert. Many Lake Texoma guides guarantee a catch. Your safety is their first concern, but your adventure is what these guides specialize in. Lake Texoma is famous for striped bass, and the guides here know where they are! Browse our list of pro guides on our Lake Texoma Fishing Guides page.

Lake Texoma Boating

Sailing, Cruising And More

More than two dozen marinas with boat slips designed to accommodate sailboats and power boats are available on the shores of Lake Texoma. Cedar Mills on the West End of the lake and Grandpappy Point at the East End by the Denison Dam are well-known by enthusiasts who come to sail nearly 90,000 surface acres of water. Both marinas have service shops, restaurants and lodging as well.

If you want to put your houseboat, power boat or jet skis into Lake Texoma, you'll have plenty of public boat ramps and private marinas to choose from, on both the Oklahoma and Texas sides of the lake. And you'll enjoy the scenic shoreline as well several islands in the center of the lake.

Besides the private marinas, The Army Corps of Engineers maintains 10 campgrounds with over 700 campsites, 25 miles of equestrian trails, a rugged 14-mile Cross Timbers hiking trail through rocky and wooded bluffs overlooking the lake, boat rentals, slip rentals and concessions.

Two wildlife refuges flank the northern and southern ends of Lake Texoma, Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma and Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. Visitors often see eagles, ducks, geese, heron and egret during their annual migrations, as well as resident white-tail deer and wild hogs. Hunting permits are available from the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Whether you come to see bright fall foliage reflected in blue water along the red-dirt shoreline or bask in the summer sun on the beach of Treasure Island, you'll find plenty to enjoy at Lake Texoma year-round.

Lake Texoma Marinas

Calling Lake Texoma marinas impressive is an understatement. The diverse marinas on this lake offer many different services and hospitality options. Boaters and sailors can find low cost accommodations to upscale, full service marinas with 50-ton lifts. 

There are over 20 marinas around the lake. Some are government owned, private, and located in resorts and campgrounds. The marinas range from resorts like Tanglewood Resort and Conference Center with a spa, restaurants, bars, and three Highport Marina docks, or like Walnut Creek Marina, your quiet outdoor getaway with cabins, camping, and RV sites, a small store, and a gas dock. 

Dockominiums are a growing trend with marina residents consisting of hotel-like amenities right on the water. The average water depth is 39.9 feet and the maximum is 110 feet. Lake Texoma can handle large boats and yachts. 

Check out our full list of Lake Texoma marinas for your perfect boating getaway.

Camping on Texoma

Besides the 15 Lake Texoma camping areas managed by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, there are many private Lake Texoma campgrounds, Lake Texoma RV parks, waterfront home rentals, and glamping rentals. There are campgrounds where you pay for amenities, there are RV parks everywhere, plus there are  state and U.S. parks where you can unload your tent and camp primitive style for free. Tiny cabins have become an industry on Lake Texoma for many local landowners. 

You are sure to find gorgeous sunrises, sunsets, cook great BBQs, and spend quality time with friends and family at one of the many recreational parks provided around this lake. 

Lake Texoma Weather

It rains an average of 37 inches per year at Lake Texoma with 233 sunny days and two inches of snow per year. Temperatures range from a July high at 95 degrees (sometimes hotter) and January low of 30 degrees. April, May, and October are the most pleasant months to enjoy at this lake. 

Nightlife Around Texoma

Does Lake Texoma have things to do?  Yes they do, We have water front Lake Texoma restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that surround this lake. No matter where you are on the lake, a great time and/or a great meal is a short drive when you want a break from the water and nature. Hear live entertainment or cool off in little-known dives, and since the locals demand great food, the Lake Texoma hospitality industry strives to please their patrons. 

Lake Texoma Real Estate

Lake Texoma homes for sale can be found in both Oklahoma and Texas. In the five counties surrounding Lake Texoma, three are in Oklahoma and two are in Texas. The cost of living in Oklahoma is less than in Texas, but waterfront properties run upwards of a half a million dollars on this lake. There are many smaller communities with low-cost housing to high-end living beside the four towns on each corner of the lake. Of the four largest towns, Madill, Oklahoma on the northwest, Durant Oklahoma on northeast, Gainesville, Texas on the southwest, Sherman and Denison, Texas, on the northeast, offer the most diverse shopping and entertainment value. The most populated recreational areas will have necessary food and supplies needed, and there is a Walmart in all five towns only a short drive away. 

The closest school districts to Lake Texoma are in Denison, Pottsboro, and Whitesboro, Texas, and Kingston, Oklahoma. Second homes are popular purchases around this lake. At any given time, the amount of homes and lots available vary too much to make an estimate of what is available. The Lake Texoma real estate market is in the top ten in the Texas and Oklahoma region. 

Shop homes for sale on our Lake Texoma Real Estate page to find the perfect lake home, vacation home or rental property investment on Texoma.

Lake Texoma Cabin Rentals and Vacation Homes

If you’re looking to rent a home for your Lake Texoma vacation, there are so many options to choose from. Many of the parks, marinas, and local residents offer cabin rentals. You can find a vacation home rental home with any size floor plan, multiple bedrooms, a swimming pool, and all the trimmings to a simple one-room cabin. 

Some lake rentals are waterfront, or have a lake view, and others are nearby beaches, marinas, and resorts. Cabins also come in all different sizes. Some cabins follow the trend of glamping with a bed and a bathroom. Cabins usually sit in a wooded or natural area. Most cabins and vacation homes have fire pits and grills. The prices for cabins and homes vary greatly depending on amenities and location. Find your perfect vacation rental on our Lake Texoma Cabin Rentals page. 

Flora and Fauna

Native animals abound around and in Lake Texoma, and there are thousands of species, too many to mention. Several species of endangered animals are protected in this region like alligator snapping turtles, alligators, and several species of bats and birds. 

Common wildlife spotted around Lake Texoma include armadillos, bats, beavers, coyotes, deer, foxes, fox squirrels, porcupines, possums, rabbits, raccoons, snakes, turkeys, and wild boars. Uncommon sightings include black bears, bobcats, and mountain lions. There are hundreds of ranches surrounding the lake with many longhorn and black angus cattle populations.

Go birding in November watching as thousands of snow geese blanket Hagerman NWR. Other winter birds to look for are eagles, hawks, Northern harriers, owls, and red shoulder hawks. In the spring, find migratory bluebirds, hawks, hummingbirds, pelicans, and warblers. Come summertime, great blue herons nest in treetops and blue-winged and green-winged teals arrive to make their winter homes. Fall welcomes monarch butterflies, raptors, and white pelicans. 

This region is part of the Cross Timbers, an ecological swath of land that stretches from south central Texas to most of Oklahoma. This same area  was called the cast iron forest that weaved a mosaic of almost impenetrable vegetation of scrubby oak trees, hickory, elm, bodark, and heavy undergrowth of grapevines, hawthorns, greenbriers, and other brushy plants for early explorers and settlers. 

The Cross Timbers consists of one of our nation’s most ancient natural upland forests and prairies. Much of its natural beauty has been reduced by human interaction and invasive species of plants and trees. Wild flowers bloom with abandon in the springtime, and a variety of nuts and berries plus shrubs and vines inhabit and invade the wilder areas. 

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Lake Texoma Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Lake Texoma Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 95

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 80



Hi: 98

Monday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 79



Hi: 97

Tuesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 80



Hi: 98

Wednesday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 79

Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 6/23: 620.12 (+3.12)

Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Jun. 19)

GOOD. Water stained; 75 degrees; 3.56 feet above pool. Striper fishing is great on live bait anchoring on humps in 20-30 feet of water and drifting flats in 15-25 feet of water. Topwaters are working early in the backs of creeks and along river channels. Catfish are good on cut shad and prepared baits. Channels are on the rocks and shallow flats in 10-20 feet of water. Blue catfish are on deep humps in 40-50 feet of water. Bass are slow on shallow crankbaits and top waters early along the banks. Look for bass in the shade during the day near docks in 8-15 feet of water. Shad fry are everywhere so downsize baits to catch numbers. Crappie are slow on jigs and minnows near docks and on brush piles using electronics to spot active fish in 10-18 feet of water. Report by Jacob Orr, Guaranteed Guide Service Lake Texoma. Water level continues to be high. Smaller striped bass are surfacing feeding on shad hitting topwaters and swimbaits. Slab bite is starting to turn on producing better quality fish in big schools in deep water. The slab bite will only improve. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors.

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