Tag Archives: Texas Lakes

Today in Texas History – March 29

From the Annals of Flood Control – In 1965, the Army Corps of Engineers began the deliberate impoundment at Sam Rayburn Reservoir.   Construction on the reservoir had begun in 1956 at which time the project was known as “McGee Bend Dam and Reservoir”, because of its’ location immediately upstream from McGee Bend on the river.  In September, 1963, the 88th Congress adopted a special resolution changing the name to “Sam Rayburn Dam and Reservoir”, in honor of the recently deceased Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Sam Rayburn, a long-time champion of soil and water conservation.

The dam is an 20,000 foot earth embankment with a concrete power-intake structure and flood-control outlet works located near the right end of the dam. SRR can store up to 4,442,400 acre feet of water encompassing a surface area of 153,800 acres. At top of flood control pool, elevation 173 feet above mean sea level, the reservoir can hold 3,997,600 acre feet of water encompassing a surface area of about 142,700 acres.

Today in Texas History – May 11

From the Annals of Bass Fishing –  In 1964, construction began to create what would become the largest reservoir in Texas.  The building of the Toledo Bend Dam on the Sabine River eighty miles north of Beaumont would ultimately create the Toledo Bend Reservoir. The reservoir takes in parts of four Texas Counties (Newton, Sabine, Panola, and Shelby) and two Louisiana Parishes (Sabine and De Soto). The lake is the largest in the South, and the fifth largest by surface area in the United States  The dam was built Texas and Louisiana, without any assistance from the federal government.  When completed in 1969, the Toledo Bend Reservoir provides water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational purposes, as well as hydroelectric power and flood control for the lower Sabine.  The lake is most famous for its bass fishing opportunities and hosts numerous tournaments.