Who Owns Lake Texoma?

There are several entities that manage Lake Texoma. Because two states converge on Lake Texoma with Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), the Hagerman (HNWR) and Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuges (TNWR), and the fish and game departments of two states are involved, it can get complicated.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District (USACE) owns Lake Texoma. There is no lake frontage private property ownership. Oklahoma owns the islands, and the Marshall County, Oklahoma, sheriffs police the islands. The USACE leases property to marinas and other lakefront businesses. United States Fish and Wildlife Service manages HWNR.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District

Lake Texoma is the largest lake in this district and the twelfth largest lake in the U.S. The USACE maintains ten campgrounds, and the total number of campsites is over 700. There are 25 miles of equestrian trails and the 14-mile scenic Cross Timbers hiking trail that winds above the lake on rocky ledges and through blackjack woodland.

The USACE Shoreline Management Plan ensures that the water area, shoreline, and adjacent public land of Corps of Engineers projects protect the environment. This plan limits private use of the federal resources as set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 36, Chapter III, Part 327.

Shoreline Management Plans (SMP) deals with private boat docks, mowing permits, and other uses of government property. SMPs regulate private uses of public land. Corps civil works manage projects like installing and maintaining boat docks, mowing grass, trimming trees, and clearing underbrush.

These plans identify the coves zoned for private floating facilities, the types of structures that the USACE allows on Lake Texoma, the public land areas that are open for mowing by individuals, and the areas where these uses are restricted. These activities require a written permit from the lake manager for the USACE Tulsa District office.

Topics covered in the SMP are the density of development allowed in a specific cove, minimum design standards for dock construction and electrical service, and grandfathering of existing docks. The SMP Minimum Design Standards sets the specifications for floating facilities authorized by the SMP.

The USACE issues Shoreline Use Permits for boat docks, other floating facilities, leasing shoreline properties, and requirements for owning land adjoining USACE shorelines. It leases shoreline properties to businesses, nonprofit groups, and private enterprises.

Eisenhower State Park

Eisenhower State Park is the most popular state park on Lake Texoma, five miles northwest of Denison, Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department operates this park, which offers many amenities and activities. From U.S. 75, take exit 72 to SH 91 north to Denison Dam to FM 1310 West, and travel 1.8 miles to the Park Road 20 entrance.

The Eisenhower State Park covers 423 acres on Lake Texoma. It has four miles of trails, ATV and dirt bike trails, boulder climbing, campsites, group camping, and cabins, picnic pavilions, a recreation hall, swim beaches, two fishing piers, the full-service Eisenhower Yacht Club marina, ranger programs like the Texas Aquatic Science Certified Field Site, and more.

Hagerman and Tishomingo National Wildlife Refugees

Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge

Hagerman is in Texas off of US 82 between Whitesboro and Sherman, Texas. HNWR swallowed up the town of Hagerman, Texas. Hagerman was established in 1880. By 1910, the town consisted of 250 residences, a cotton gin, school, church, post office, railroad depot, and several businesses.

Today, HNWR covers 11,320 acres, with 3,000 acres of marsh and water and 8,000 acres of upland and farmland on Lake Texoma. The USACE established Hagerman in 1946. So far, HNWR has documented 338 species of birds, 36 species of mammals, 60 species of reptiles and amphibians, and 61 species of fish. In November, thousands of snow geese blanket the fields of Hagerman.

Each season brings numerous wildlife species to HWNR. The Friends of Hagerman is a volunteer organization that sponsors several educational and wildlife viewing programs at HNWR. Admission to HWNR is free as are most of the activities. HNWR allows hunting with special permits and drawings.

Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge

TNWR is located off of SH 22 in Oklahoma around Cumberland Pool, the farthest northern pool of Lake Texoma. Harry Truman's presidential order established the area south of Tishomingo in 1946. Its name honors Chickasaw Chief Tishu Minco (c. 1735–c. 1837), which means warrior chief.

Today, TNWR covers 16,464 acres with Cumberland Pool taking up 4,500 acres. TNWR's major focus is migratory waterfowl, but other animals find habitat there. The Cumberland Pool attracts nearly one hundred thousand ducks of various species and around forty-five thousand geese every year.

The Tishomingo bird checklist lists 275 species. Other predominant wildlife species at TNWR include deer, raccoons, and wild turkeys. Special hunting permits allow people to hunt waterfowl, with steel shot from shotguns, and deer, with bow and arrow only is only permitted The TNWR only permits angling from a boat between March and September. Various bass species, crappie, and catfish are popular game fish.

Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations in Texomaland

The Chickasaw Nation

The tribal government of the Chickasaw Nation is a democratic republic, modeled after that of the U.S. federal government. Registered voters elect a governor and lieutenant governor to four-year terms. Like the president and vice president of the United States, the governor and lieutenant governor run as a team.

The Chickasaw Nation treaty territory encompasses 7,648 square miles of south-central Oklahoma in all or parts of 13 Oklahoma counties, stretching from Oklahoma City to the Red River. Since the 1980s, its tribal government has focused on building an economically diverse base to generate funds.

There five distinct ecoregions within the Chickasaw Nation’s 13 Oklahoma counties, each with its own spectacular offerings. You can explore the vast beauty of the Chickasaw National Recreation Area, take a journey through time at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, or treat yourself to an evening at the Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa in Sulphur, Oklahoma.

The Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur, Oklahoma, features many Chickasaw exhibits. The Chikasha Poya Exhibit Center, where its The Aaishtaya' Mosaic Room offers bright mosaic tiles and an etched glass replica of a 1723 deerskin map. The Council House Orientation Theater showcases authentic pieces of Chickasaw culture and hosts showings of Chickasaw Renaissance, a short film that welcomes guests to the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

The Chickasaw’s cultural and spiritual identity is tied to finding harmony with the natural world. The Itti' Anonka' Nannakat Oktani or Spirit Forest explains the Chickasaw way of life through hands-on displays and Smithsonian-quality exhibits. Lunch at the Aaimpa’ Café. Aaimpa’, which means “A Place to Eat” in Chickasaw. The restaurant serves Corn Cribs (batter-fried sweet corn), Three Sisters Salad (with black beans, zucchini and corn), Indian Tacos (fry bread with pinto beans and bison), and Nannachampoli’ (grape dumplings), a dessert of dough pieces in a sweet grape juice.

The Exhibit Gallery takes you on an adventure through Chickasaw history with First American interactive stations, reproductions, and graphic and text displays. The Holisso Center for Study of Chickasaw History and Culture is a 20,000-square-foot specialty library focusing on the study of the Chickasaw Nation and other tribes in the Southeastern United States.

The Removal Hallway and the Stomp Dance areas tell the stories of the Chickasaw people’s ability to express emotion through dance and song. Artwork, sounds, and stories guide you along the difficult route thousands of First Americans took after President Andrew Jackson passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. This exhibit features live stomp dance demonstrations by tribal dancers daily.

The Choctaw Nation

Choctaw Nation Constitution governs the tribe. It ratified its current constitution by the people on July 9, 1983. The Constitution provides for three branches of government, executive, legislative, and judicial. Each branch provides oversight of various tribal functions. Its Tribal Council has 12 members for each district in the Choctaw Nation.

The Choctaw Nation flanks the eastern edges of Texomaland and covers 10,864 square miles that stretch from the Arkansas and Canadian Rivers on the north, the Arkansas state line on the east, down to the Red River on the south, and meets the Chickasaw Nation border on the west.

The Choctaw Nation covers eight Oklahoma Counties. The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Capitol Museum in Tvshka Homma, Oklahoma, is also the Choctaw original Council House built in 1884 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. The Museum Grounds include a Five Acre Historic Lawn with where Choctaw Stickball, Choctaw Weddings, Choctaw Social Dancing, and Inter-Tribal Powwows take place during the Labor Day Festival each year.

An exhibit of the Choctaws of WWI who volunteered their service to the United States and joined the Army at the museum showcases how an officer overheard the Choctaw men speaking their native language and trained them to use their words as code. The army placed the Choctaws strategically on front lines and at command posts so they could transmit messages without being understood by the enemy.

Ruby Bolding, Cultural Artist, works as a part of the Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation Department to create historically accurate drawings of Choctaw people and history at the Choctaw Cultural Center at 1919 Hina Hanta Way, Calera, Oklahoma.

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma offers a variety of classes in our traditional arts, including basketry, moccasins, pottery, stickball, dressmaking, and traditional archery. Most classes are free and some provide food. The Choctaw Nation Language Community teaches classes free with 32 high school and accredited university course in 22 cities and online.

Visit the fabulous Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, that equals any Las Vegas casino complex. Indulge in delicious dining at one of its 16 restaurants and take in the biggest names in entertainment at the Grand Theater and Gilley’s. Play at The District, which features bowling, an arcade, and six movie theatres. Check out The Spa or one of its two pool locations, The Oasis at Grand Tower or Aqua at Sky Tower, furnished with private cabanas. Recharge in one of the 1,700 hotel rooms in the Four Diamond hotel. For business, the three-level convention/entertainment complex is open for booking.

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Lake Texoma Current Weather Alerts

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Lake Texoma Weather Forecast


Partly Sunny

Hi: 84

Thursday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 66


Partly Sunny

Hi: 81

Friday Night

Mostly Cloudy

Lo: 62


Mostly Cloudy

Hi: 72

Saturday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 61


Partly Sunny

Hi: 79

Sunday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 64

Lake Texoma Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 10/6: 614.68 (-2.32)

Lake Texoma

Fishing Report from TPWD (Oct. 5)

EXCELLENT. Water stained; 80 degrees; 2.30 feet below. While the lake is turning over, fishing with artificial baits has been tough but will improve as the water begins to clear. The striper bite is shallow early on topwaters, using swimbaits on shallow flats, and slabs in deeper water. Fall fishing is all about chasing the birds, so watch for the gulls and herons to start appearing. Sand bass in big numbers are on shallow flats in 10 feet of water or less using 4-inch swimbaits, downsized topwaters, and slabs. Report by John Blasingame, Adventure Texoma Outdoors. Striped bass fishing is excellent with fish being caught on top waters in the backs of creeks at daybreak then fishing switching to live bait and drifting flats in 25-30 feet of water to finish a limit. Blue and channel catfish are still excellent on ledges and flats in 40-50 fow. A lot of small fish with the occasional big fish. Drift cut baits in 15-20 feet of water for the big blues. Largemouth and smallmouth bass are getting better with the cool weather. Topwaters around points and deep drop-offs early and switching to soft plastics 5-10 feet of water fishing fast. Crappie are good with a lot of small fish and a few big fish. Waiting to see those mid size keeper fish on the piles. 10-18 feet of water using electronics on brush piles. Report by Jacob Orr Lake Texoma Guaranteed Guide Service.

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