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Weekend Getaways

How deep is Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas?

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There is no environment quite as peaceful as a clear blue lake and its surroundings. Possum Kingdom Lake is the epitome of this heavenly setting. Voted one of the most scenic lakes in the state of Texas. Gazing out over Possum Kingdom Lake, you’ll see nearly 20,000 acres of pristine blue waters. Along the hundreds of kilometers of coastline lie sandy beaches, rocks, cliffs and coves. But how deep is Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas?

About Possum Kingdom Lake

Beautiful Possum Kingdom Lake sits at the crossroads of the Brazos River and the Palo Pinto Hills.


Possum Kingdom Lake is northwest of Fort Worth, Texas. It lies on the main trunk of the Brazos River. This lake is an artificial lake. It was the first water reservoir constructed by the state of Texas in the Brazos River basin. The state granted approval for this project in 1938.

The lake covers areas in Young, Stephens, Jack and Palo Pinto counties. It has a shoreline of approximately 219 miles and covers an area of ​​approximately 16,716 acres. It contains about 540,000 acres of water. Of this water, 230,750 acre feet is available as a water supply for the Brazos Basin.

The lake is at the junction of the Brazos River and the Palo Pinto Hills, in an area that was originally a canyon. This location provided the state of Texas with an optimal location for damming the reservoir. Due to the geography of the area, the lake is unusually deep and clear.

The original purpose of the lake and dam was to provide a large body of water for industrial, municipal, mining, flood control, irrigation, and power generation purposes, in addition to recreation.

The Morris Shepherd Dam of Possum Kingdom Lake

The Morris Shepherd Dam, named after the United States Senator who was instrumental in securing funding for the project, impounds Possum Kingdom Lake. The dam includes nine gates, each approximately 74 feet long and 13 feet high. When each gate is open, about 9,600 cubic feet of water can pass through per second.

This dam is unique in its construction because of the supported arched wings on each side of each gate. Usually dam gates have concrete filled in place of these wings. Originally, the construction of the dam included a hydroelectric power plant, but this is no longer used.

Activities at Possum Kingdom Lake

Possum Kingdom Lake has around three million visitors each year. It is easily one of the most popular recreational lakes in North Texas.

Because the water of Possum Kingdom Lake is so clear and blue, it’s great for a variety of underwater activities like snorkeling and scuba diving. In addition, you can swim, water ski, boat and fish.

Many anglers enjoy fishing this lake as there is a wide variety of species that populate it. There are seven public boat ramps as well as several public fishing piers.

Outside of the lake itself, there are many activities to do in the park areas surrounding the water. Ten public areas include 400 campgrounds that accommodate both tent and RV camping. An award-winning network of trails is available for hiking or mountain biking.

Parks at Possum Kingdom Lake

Possum Kingdom State Park is on the west side of the lake. This park covers approximately 1,530 acres and is managed by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Many consider it one of the most beautiful state parks in Texas.

The park has been in existence since the 1930s and is home to more than 100 campgrounds and six luxury cabins. From this park, people can enjoy the natural surroundings including breathtaking scenic views of Possum Kingdom Lake.

Possum Kingdom Lake’s shoreline is very varied and consists of gentle slopes, a beach and steep cliffs.

In addition to the state park, six Brazos River Authority public areas are located on the west side of the lake. They differ in terms of equipment. However, many boat ramps are located in these areas, and some of them contain campsites.

How deep is Possum Kingdom Lake in Texas?

On average, Possum Kingdom Lake is about 32 feet deep. At its deepest point, the lake is about 106 feet deep. It is the third deepest lake in the Brazos River Basin, with Stillhouse Hollow and Belton Lakes being just a few feet lower.

As this is an artificial lake, the depth will vary with the original terrain of the ground on which it was built.

Official reservoir surveys are routinely conducted in the Brazos River Basin. The main purpose of these surveys is to determine the volume of each lake, but crews also determine the depth of each lake during each survey.

Depth is the distance from the top of the conservation basin (the point at which the lake would be considered full) to the bottom. The survey teams use sonar and GPS technology to determine the depth of the lake at many different points to get an average. Sound waves from sonar travel at different frequencies, and the results allow officials to determine not only depth, but how much sediment there is.

Typically, the deepest point of a lake is near the dam, and this is indeed the case with Possum Kingdom Lake.

Animals in and around Possum Kingdom Lake

In the forests surrounding Possum Kingdom Lake you can find a number of wild animals such as the bobcat.

©Victor Arita/

There are many fish that inhabit Possum Kingdom Lake. These include crappie, blue catfish, channel catfish and various species of bass – largemouth bass, white bass and striped bass.

Not only are there a variety of fish in the lake, but there are also many land animals at Possum Kingdom State Park. In the woods you are likely to see desert bighorn sheep, javelinas, mule deer, pronghorn, possums, coyotes, bobcats, wild turkeys and raccoons.

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