Sam Rayburn Reservoir to begin surcharge operations

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District
Published May 23, 2021
Updated: May 23, 2021
Flood release at Sam Rayburn

Flood release at Sam Rayburn Feb 19, 2021

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District Officials, in keeping with its flood risk reduction charter, announce today that beginning on May 24 surcharge operations at Sam Rayburn Reservoir will begin.

Sam Rayburn continues to receive floodwater runoff from recent storms and is currently operating in the surcharge pool with an elevation of 173.26 feet as of 1:30 p.m. Normal pool elevation is 164.40 feet and top of flood pool is 173 feet. Area above 173 feet is operating into the surcharge pool with top of labyrinth spillway at 176 feet.

Operating according to the lake’s water control plan, surcharge release operations will be accomplished through increased hydropower generation on May 24 at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. These operations will result in releases of  approximately 3,300 cubic feet per second. However; additional flood releases may be necessary daily to comply with the surcharge operations specified in the water control plan. Once the lake level is again below  173 feet elevation releases will be adjusted based on the downstream control criteria. The Fort Worth District has notified impacted emergency managers of these circumstances and the potential for downstream flooding.

All releases from Sam Rayburn Reservoir will continue to be passed to the Lower Neches River by BA Steinhagen/Town Bluff Dam.  Current release there is 24,600 cfs and will be adjusted as necessary for additional surcharge releases from Sam Rayburn.

The Corps of Engineers is concerned for public safety and urges boaters to wear life jackets and use caution while navigating. Floodwaters have created unfamiliar boating conditions, changed shorelines, and submerged objects such as picnic tables, signs, and debris. Several campground sites have been closed. Please follow this link to see what parks have campsite closures:

For additional information, call the Sam Rayburn Project Office at (409) 384-5716.




Visit the Fort Worth District Web site at: and social media at:  

Clayton A. Church
819 Taylor St Ste 3A24, Fort Worth, Texas 76102

Release no. 21-029