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Lake Information for Sam Rayburn Reservoir


Sam Rayburn Reservoir is a reservoir in the United States located in Southeast Texas, 70 miles (130 km) north of Beaumont. The reservoir is fed by the Angelina River, the major tributary of the Neches River. The capacity of the reservoir is 3,997,600 acre-feet (4.9310 kmĀ³), and is the largest lake wholly located within the state of Texas. The reservoir is operated by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth district.

The earthfill dam has a spillway crest elevation of 176 feet and a top flood-control pool capacity of 3,997,600 acre-feet. Its two hydroelectric plants generate a total capacity of 52,000 kilowatt-hours marketed by the Southwestern Power Administration. With a drainage area of 3,449 square miles, Rayburn Reservoir conserves water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational purposes.

Water Conditions:
Conservation Pool Elevation: 164.4 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Average 10 feet annually
Normal Clarity: Clear to off-color in upper lake

Aquatic Vegetation
Primarily non-native submersed (hydrilla); a variety of native aquatic plants are also established

Facilities and Parks: 

Twenty-two maintained access areas (including parks and private concessions) are located around the reservoir. Boat ramps are available at each of these areas. Some ramps may be unavailable for use when the lake is low, so it's a good idea to check with local authorities for current water levels and ramp conditions. Thirteen parks are operated by the Corps of Engineers, and the rest by the US Forest Service, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, or county. Five access areas are operated by concessionaires or located in close proximity to a concession/marina. Camping is allowed at 14 of the access areas. Contact operating agency for availability of electrical outlets, drinking water, sanitary and shower facilities.

A wide variety of recreational activities are available to our visitors.
The US Army Corps of Engineers operates six developed parks around Sam Rayburn Reservoir, each unique, offering different views, opportunities, and experiences. Activities include , camping, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting, equestrian trails and camping, hiking, picnicing, birding and wildlife viewing.

Fishing Description: 

Sam Rayburn Reservoir is touted as one of the premier largemouth bass fisheries in the South, and is home to over 300 fishing tournaments each year, including ESPN/BASS Masters, BASS Champs, Wal Mart BFL, FLW Outdoors, Angler's Quest, BASS Champs, Bass-n-Bucks, McDonald's Big Bass Splash and numerous others.

Angling Opportunities

The most popular game fish at Sam Rayburn Reservoir is the largemouth bass; an excellent year-round fishery exists. Excellent year-round crappie and catfish fisheries are also present. White bass numbers are limited, but provide good fishing opportunities during the spring. The hybrid striped bass population is maintained by TPWD through annual stockings and is popular due to this fish's growth potential, schooling nature, and fighting characteristics. Bluegill and redear sunfish are present in high numbers and provide good fishing, especially for youth or inexperienced anglers.

Fishing Cover/Structure

Habitat in Sam Rayburn Reservoir consists of submerged aquatic vegetation, standing timber, and flooded terrestrial vegetation. Hydrilla is the predominant plant species, although many native plants such as coontail and pondweed are also present. In the lower part of the reservoir the water is relatively clear; game fish are typically found around vegetation edges, flats, humps, and creek channels. In the upper third of the reservoir, the abundance of vegetation typically declines. Timber, brush, laydowns, and creek channels provide upper-lake gamefish habitat. Due to water level fluctuations, habitat conditions change seasonally and yearly. Drastic water level changes can decrease the amount of vegetation. At high water levels, inundated trees and bushes provide excellent habitat.

Fishing Tips, Tactics, How-To info: 

Anglers are most successful at catching largemouth bass during the fall, winter, and spring months. Due to cooler water temperatures, fish are active for longer periods of the day and are typically found in shallow water. A variety of baits and techniques will work during these times. When fish are active, crankbaits and spinnerbaits are usually the preferred choice. During the hot summer, the bite usually slows and fish activity is usually concentrated during early morning, late evening, and at night. Poppers, propeller baits, stickbaits, and flukes are good topwater choices during low light conditions. As the sun rises, most bass are concentrated in or around vegetation edges, or seek refuge on deep ledges and creek channels. During this time, plastic worms and jigs are the preferred baits.

Crappie fishing is excellent year-round with jigs and minnows. During the spring spawn, anglers target shallow areas around vegetation. During other times of the year, fish are typically concentrated in deeper water around brushpiles and creek channels.

Blue Catfish
Channel Catfish
Largemouth Bass
Striped Bass
White Bass
Optional Information
Maximum depth: 
Surface area: 
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Lake type: 

Businesses Located Nearby

Boat Rental

    Sun Dancer Rentals
  • 4141 W Recreational Road 255 - Brookeland, TX
  • (409) 698-2247
    Bob Mc Bride Inboard Outboard
  • 11818 Texas State Highway 63 W - Jasper, TX
  • (409) 384-5367
    Coolwater Boats
  • 315 P D Selman Rd - Lufkin, TX
  • (936) 824-2262

Vacation Rental

    US Army Corps of Engineers
  • 7696 Rr 255 W - Jasper, TX
  • (409) 384-5716

Bar and Restaurant

    Senor Bills Barbecue
  • Highway 96 N - Brookeland, TX
  • (409) 698-2489
    Charlie's Place
  • 500 S Wheeler St - Jasper, TX
  • (409) 384-4451

Sam Rayburn Reservoir - 2009/07/10/ 85F - Catfish are very good on trotlines baited with live bait an... Continued

Sam Rayburn Reservoir - 2009/06/28/ 81F - Catfish are very good on trotlines baited with live bait and... Continued

Sam Rayburn Reservoir - 2009/01/24/ 62F - Bream are fair on worms. Black bass are fair on watermelon r... Continued

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