USACE Plans for Proposed Drawdown of B. A. Steinhagen/Town Bluff

Published July 19, 2019

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials at Sam Rayburn Reservoir and B.A. Steinhagen/Town Bluff Reservoir, Jasper, Texas, announce today a plan for necessary repairs on the uncontrolled spillway/dam of B. A. Steinhagen Lake.

On July 22, contractors will mobilize on site prior to the pre-construction survey scheduled on July 24. In an effort to facilitate this survey, USACE Fort Worth District Water Management has begun drawing the lake down to a target elevation of 65 feet above msl (normal lake elevation is 82.5 feet above msl). This action will eliminate lake access, as all boat ramps on the lake will be dry. Within a one to two week timeframe, contractors will begin making repairs to the upstream face of the concrete-capped uncontrolled spillway (dam), which may require the lake to be lowered to the 60-65 feet elevation range for a short window of time, depending on the conditions found.

The current schedule is to have the lake trending back up by the end of August, but the rate of rise will depend on the progress of work, inflow from the Neches River, Sam Rayburn releases through hydropower generation, and what the downstream flow requirements are at that time. The hydropower generation schedule will create pulses of water causing peak and valley water-level fluctuations to occur throughout the day.

Lower Neches Valley Authority water requirements in late August will partially dictate Town Bluff’s release rate and influence how quickly B. A. Steinhagen returns to normal lake levels. The proposed work schedule should return the lake to a usable elevation by mid-September, allowing for public access during the annual TPWD alligator hunt and teal season.

Unless work progresses more rapidly than anticipated, lake levels will be too low for use during the Labor Day weekend. During repair work all public access to the fishing platforms on both the east and west side of the dam will be closed.

Be advised that weather or other unforeseen events may prolong the drawdown of B. A. Steinhagen Lake, but every effort will be made to return the lake to a usable elevation as quickly as possible. 

Foot access to the exposed lake bottom is permitted but discouraged, as mud flats can be unstable and present a safety hazard.  All vehicle and ATV/UTV traffic on the lakebed is prohibited.


For additional information, please reach out to the Town Bluff Lake Office at (409) 429-3491.


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:

Brittany Scruggs
819 Taylor St., Fort Worth, TX 76102

Release no. 19-028