Lake Tawakoni History

History of Lake Tawakoni

Bass FishingThe area around Lake Tawakoni is rich in Native American history having been occupied by "prehistoric Indians" and used as a stop over for many of the historic Native American Indian tribes for which the lake is named. The name Tawakoni is means "river bend among red sand hills". The Oklahoma Historical Society and Access Genealogy have a good history of the Tawakoni Indian Tribe and name.

Prior to the Iron Bridge Dam construction, the surrounding land area had been settled by ranchers and farmers.

Lake Tawakoni is located on the Sabine River in Hunt, Rains and Van Zandt counties. A permit for project construction was issued to Forrest and Cotton by the State Board of Water Engineers on December 20, 1955. Land acquisition was initiated in 1956 and completed in October 1960. Construction on the earthfilled Iron Bridge Dam and concrete spillway began in January 1958 and was completed in October 1960. The water supply project is owned an operated by the Sabine River Authority and was funded through a water supply agreement with the City of Dallas to provide water for municipal and industrial purposes. The lake has a capacity of 936,200 acre-feet and a surface area of 36,700 acres. Crest elevation is 437.5 feet above mean sea level. The maximum depth is 70 feet. The 200-mile-long shoreline makes its way through Hunt, Rains, and Van Zandt counties.

Located some 50 miles east of Dallas and 12 miles south of Greenville (Lake Tawakon Map), the reservoir's primary purpose is to provide water for the surrounding communities and the City of Dallas. In addition the lake provides water-oriented recreation for much of central and northeast Texas. Fishing is the primary recreational sport with catfish being the lake specialty. West Tawakoni, located at the west end of the 2-mile Bridge, was awarded the distinction of being the Catfish Capital of Texas by the Texas State Legislature in 2001. In 1995, The Texas Legislature declared Wills Point the Bluebird Capital of Texas. The resolution noted that "the heroic effors of the Wills Point Wilderness Society; working with the National Bluebird Recovery Program, were successful when the National Audubon Society determined that the community has hosted more bluebirds than any other area in Texas.

Lake Tawakoni is still a virtually undiscovered lake in Texas. It is clean and un-crowded, its size making it ideal for recreational water sports. Lake Tawakoni State Park opened in 2001, providing public campgrounds and recreational facilities that Texas State Parks are famous for.

The Predominant Fish Species are:

  • Catfish
  • Striped & Hybrid Striped Bass
  • White Bass
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass

Area Attractions near Lake Tawakoni: Lake Tawakoni State Park, Purtis Creek State Park, Tyler State Park, Cooper Lake State Park, Cedar Hill State Park, Governor Hogg Shrine Historic Site (operated by the City of Quitman), and Canton "First Monday" Trade Days.