Texas Outside receives a lot of questions from our readers, especially about Texas lakes. We strive to answer these questions to the best of our abilities. We get some brilliant questions from our audience, and we love doing the research to find those answers. Many of these questions give rise to some surprising results. Those results frequently lead to other interesting topics for new articles for Texas Outside. 

What Is the #1 Fishing Lake in Texas?

Fishing is big business in Texas. According to the American Sportfishing Association, sportfishing in Texas generated $7.7 billion in revenue and supported 51,380 fishing industry jobs in 2020. Texas boasts the second largest recreational fishing industry in the United States. These statistics include freshwater and saltwater sportfishing. However you slice it, that fact adds up to thousands of sportfishing enthusiasts in Texas.

Lake Fork is one of the top bass reservoirs in the United States. For catfish, Lake Tawakoni is the #1 channel catfish lake. For striped bass and flathead catfish, Lake Texoma is #1. Canyon Lake sports an 8,308-acre reservoir located just north of San Antonio and boasts a strong spring white bass run in the Guadalupe River above the reservoir.

For many anglers, the #1 fishing lake in Texas depends on what species of game fish they are after. Cat fishing in Texas is good in pretty much every lake in the Piney Woods, the Coastal Plains, and the Hill Country regions year-round. Black bass like largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, Guadalupe, etc., and temperate bass species like striped, white, and yellow bass all have their seasons. Anglers find other species of sport fish like crappie, sunfish, minnows, and gar in most Texas lakes. 

What Is the Nicest Lake in Texas?

Answering this question is subjective as to why one goes to a lake. The nicest lake in Texas for water sports is not necessarily the nicest lake for sport fishing. The Texas terrain is uniquely diverse with eight climate zones. Texas’ climate zones affect its lake’s aquatic plants, fisheries, temperature, shoreline habitat, water level, wetlands, and wildlife. There are loads of Texas lakes to choose from. 

Possum Kingdom Lake is one of the most scenic lakes west of Dallas/Fort Worth. Lady Bird Lake in Austin, with its gorgeous flora, is a relaxing retreat of a city lake for swimming and paddling. Caddo Lake is otherworldly with its bald cypress tree swamps and alive with nature. Lake Travis north of Austin is amazing to do anything lake-related on or at. 

What Is the Nicest Lake Near Dallas?

The entire Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex is home to a good amount of lakes: Lake Arlington, Benbrook Lake, Eagle Mountain Lake, Grapevine Lake, Joe Pool Lake, Lavon Lake, Lewisville Lake (Lake Dallas), Lake Ray Hubbard, White Rock Lake, and Lake Worth. Those are a lot of lakes to choose from. White Rock Lake is the best city lake for peace and nature in Dallas, but no swimming. 

Grapevine Lake undoubtedly offers the best activities and attractions of all the DFW lakes. It is beautiful in nature, and it has so many things to do; e.g., great sports fields, hiking, a nature preserve, water parks, the usual aquatic activities, plus entertainment and attractions like Grapefest, Great Wolf Lodge, The Escape Game, and much more. 

Where Is the Cleanest Lake in Texas?

Some lakes in Texas are cleaner than others. For the most part, the majority of Texas lakes are quite clean. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) put a high emphasis on clean water in the Texas lakes they manage. Lakes owned by cities in Texas generally follow state and federal guidelines for keeping their lakes clean. 

Some of the most pristine lakes in Texas are International Amistad Reservoir, Lake Alan Henry, Brandy Branch Reservoir, Canyon Lake, and Lake Travis. 

Amistad Reservoir lies on the Mexico/Texas border near Del Rio, Texas, and is known for its tropical paradise aura. Crystal clear, deep blue waters fill it up for 101 miles where the Rio Grande and Devil’s River converge. Visitors should check the water levels before planning a trip. At the time of this writing, it is only 38% full, and boat ramps may not be accessible due to a long period of drought. 

Lake Alan Henry sits way out in West Texas 56 miles southeast of Lubbock. Known as a hidden gem, it brings in tourists from all over Texas and beyond. Its clear water supports healthy fishing and water sports industries. The city of Lubbock manages Lake Alan Henry. 

Brandy Branch Reservoir nestles itself among the Piney Woods of East Texas 10 miles southeast of Marshall. Scuba divers love Brandy Branch Reservoir with an 11 to 15-feet visibility range.  

Canyon Lake floats on top of the Guadalupe River, near New Braunfels surrounded by one of the Texas tubing hotspots. It is 28 miles northeast of San Antonio and 40 miles southwest of Austin. Its stunningly clear waters also have an 11 to 15-feet visibility range.

Lake Travis is one of Texas’ most popular lakes in Texas surrounded by amazing Hill Country landscapes and one of the cleanest lakes in Texas. You can be in parts of Lake Travis and never know how close you are to Austin, only 12 miles. On other parts, you have great attractions, lodging options, and can get to the city quickly for a bit of a day or night trip filled with music. 

What Is the Cleanest Lake in North Texas?

Eagle Mountain Lake is the cleanest Lake in North Texas. It is a popular lake 14 miles northwest of Fort Worth. Its pristine waters keep Fort Worth dwellers cool in its scorching hot summers, and it is open year-round. 

What Is the Deepest Lake in Texas?

Five of the deepest lakes in Texas lie in East Texas with maximums of are: Toledo Bend Reservoir at 111 feet Lake Livingston at 90 feet, Lake Sam Rayburn at 80 feet, Richland-Chambers Reservoir at 75 feet, and Lake Tawakoni at 70 feet. 

The deepest lake in Texas is International Amistad Reservoir at 217 feet at its deepest point, but at the time of the writing, its water is extremely low. It is only 38% full. 

Why Is Texas Lake Water Brown?

Water takes on its color from various elements. Dissolved organic matter, like humus, peat, and decaying plant matter, produces a yellow or brown color. Some algae or dinoflagellates produce reddish or deep yellow waters. Water rich in phytoplankton and other algae usually appears green. Soil runoff produces a variety of yellow, red, brown and gray colors.

Only some Texas lakes are brown because of algae, dissolved organic matter, lake bed dirt color, and soil runoff. Many Texas lakes are clear because of low algae and other organic material, which are often colored blue.  

What Are the Two Largest Lakes in Texas?

The Sam Rayburn Reservoir is Texas’ second-largest lake and covers a surface area of 114,500 acres or 179 square miles with a maximum depth of 80-feet.

The Toledo Bend Reservoir covers an area of 185,000 acres or 289 square miles and is the largest lake in Texas. Its maximum depth is 111-feet, and it holds the largest water volume among all lakes in the state. 

What Is the Largest Pond in Texas?

A water body of less than one-half acre or less than 20 feet in depth is a pond.  A water body larger than one acre is considered a lake.  No one knows for certain how many ponds Texas has. According to A&M University’s Texas Agricultural Extension Service (TAES), Texas has an estimated 800,000 ponds or more.

Since Texas has over 800,000 ponds, and ponds cover one-half acre or less, the largest ponds in Texas cover one-half acre of surface water. 

If you like Texas lakes like we do, check out our official Texas Outside map of Texas lakes!

Kendall Davis
Author: Kendall Davis

Author: Kendall Davis Company: Lumini Services Kendall currently lives on the shores of Lake Texoma in Texas. She traveled across two-thirds of the U.S. for many years camping at lakes, rivers, and three oceans before motels and hotels if at all possible, and she continuously saw God's presence in nature. Writing for Lakehub allows Kendall to share her experience with God's creations. https://kdavis1836.wixsite.com/luminiwrites

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