Sam Rayburn Reservoir may establish new pool of record

Published Jan. 17, 2019

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ representatives at Sam Rayburn Reservoir announce that the reservoir continues to function as designed

Recent rainfalls have completely filled the flood storage within Sam Rayburn and the project is currently in surcharge operations.  This means that higher than normal releases may be necessary, especially if the current rainy cycle continues.

The rainfall, as predicted for this coming weekend, will result in additional inflows, a possible pool elevation of record and additional releases from the project; however, USACE does not believe the auxiliary labyrinth weir spillway will be engaged as a result of the forecasted additional rainfall.  Conditions may impact properties and roadways in the vicinity of the reservoir; therefore visitors, as well as local residents, should stay apprised of local road conditions as they develop.

Flood waters continue to impact Sam Rayburn Reservoir with a forecast indicating that a near pool of record is probable. The pool of record for Sam Rayburn is elevation 175.15; recorded on March 10, 1992. Rain forecasted for this weekend will cause an increase in pool elevation, possibly reaching a new pool of record on Wednesday (January 23, 2019).  Release amounts will continue in accordance with the Water Control Plan and possibly increase through the Powerhouse.  If required, the structure’s floodgates could be utilized for additional release capacity.

The current, short-range forecast does not indicate engaging the auxiliary labyrinth weir spillway at lake elevation 176; however, continued and unprecedented rainfall will increase the likelihood of higher pool elevations, potentially initiating spillway flow.  At that level, impacts are anticipated both immediately around and downstream of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir. 

All water safety measures must be adhered to when on or near the water. Life vests are a must! Large water discharges and changing lake levels will present new hazards at or just below the water line and may inundate low lying roads.  Be vigilant and constantly aware of changing conditions and hazards. Newly submerged hazards and flooded roadways can cause serious damage or injury.

Personnel have been and continue to monitor lake levels and the associated impact to recreational facilities.  Recreational areas will be opened as soon as conditions allow. Multiple U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's managed campgrounds and boat ramps are currently closed. Additional camping and/or boat launching opportunities may be found at Cassels-Boykin Park, Powell Park Marina, Jackson Hill Park and Marina, Shirley Creek Park and Marina, and the Sam Rayburn Resort and Marina.  Please contact each facility prior to visiting to ensure availability.  Not all additionally listed locations provide boat launching opportunities at this time.

Current closure lists for Sam Rayburn Reservoir and Town Bluff/Dam B/B.A. Steinhagen are at or by calling the Sam Rayburn Project Office at 409-384-5716 or Town Bluff/Dam B/B.A. Steinhagen at 409-429-3491 (M-F, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).


About the Fort Worth District: The Fort Worth District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was established in 1950.

The District is responsible for water resources development in two-thirds of Texas, and design and construction at military installations in Texas and parts of Louisiana and New Mexico.  Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: and SWF Facebook at:

Clay Church
819 Taylor St., Fort Worth, TX 76102

Release no. 19-005