Frequently Asked Questions
When will reservoir construction be completed, and the lake be open for recreation?
Construction of Bois d’Arc Lake allowed for partial impoundment in spring of 2021, and the reservoir began to fill at that time. The dam is now complete enough to allow full impoundment. How long the lake takes to fill is dependent upon rainfall in the watershed – It may take 24 months or longer. The lake will open for boating, fishing and other recreational activities once various conditions are met, including the completion of all construction, safe water levels and other necessary preparations.
How deep will Bois d'Arc Lake be?
On average, Bois d’Arc Lake will be 22 feet deep with a max depth of 70 feet.
What public recreational amenities has NTMWD built around Bois d'Arc Lake?
NTMWD built three public access areas with boat ramps, picnic areas and restrooms. One access point with boat ramps is located near FM 897 on the south shore of the lake. Two others are located on the lake’s north shore where it intersects with FM 1396 and the other on the south shore of FM 1396 where the road and the lake intersect.
Has Bois d'Arc Lake been stocked with fish and, if so, what kind?
Yes. NTMWD has worked with Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) to establish preferable game fish species. TPWD has stocked the lake with largemouth bass and catfish, and also supports other local existing fish populations such as crappie. The District has also worked with TPWD to establish suitable fish habitats in the lake that include anchored brush piles.
Property Owners and Land Acquisition
Can I buy land from NTMWD on or around Bois d’Arc Lake to build a lake house?
The North Texas Municipal Water District is not selling residential lots at the lake. Any available land for sale would be done by the current property owner. We recommend checking with licensed realtors in Fannin County or Bonham to see what may be available.
The Fannin County Appraisal District is a great resource for land research around the lake. Their website, https://www.fannincad.org, has an interactive map that shows an outline of the lake to see where a property is located in relation to the shoreline. To see the lake map, use the following steps: 1) Click the button for the Interactive map at the top of their website. 2) Once you get to the map, you will see a box on the right side of the screen that is titled, ‘Map Contents.’ 3) Scroll down until you see Bois d’Arc Lake. Check the small box next to it, and that will superimpose the lake outline on the map. 4) You can then zoom in and view and/or click on the plots.
Fannin County is in charge of the zoning around the lake and has information about it on their website: http://www.co.fannin.tx.us/page/fannin.BoisDArcLake. Near the bottom of the page, there is a blue bar titled ‘Documents and Maps.’ If you click on that bar, it will expand and provide a view of the zoning maps which will show you how the land is zoned. There is a contact name and email address/phone number on the webpage as well.
The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) contains information regarding dock requirements and other uses of NTMWD property along the shoreline by current and future private property owners. The Shoreline Management Plan guides the use of the shoreline up to the 541-foot elevation, which is property owned by NTMWD that includes the 100-year flood level. You can contact the NTMWD lake staff at 903-640-1949 with any questions about land along the shoreline.
How did NTMWD obtain the property for Bois d'Arc Lake? Were property owners compensated?
Most public works projects require the purchase of private land. All (100%) of the land needed for the project was purchased from willing sellers. NTMWD strove to work cooperatively with property owners and compensate them fairly based on market values when purchasing properties or an easements.
What is the difference between acquiring a property and purchasing an easement?
If an entire property is required for a project, the land and any building on the property are purchased. An easement is a right of an individual, company or agency to use the property of another person for a specific purpose. The property owner retains ownership of the land and can use it as long as that use does not interfere with the easement rights granted to NTMWD. If the landowner sells the property at a later date, the rights and responsibilities under the easement pass unchanged to the new owner.
What happened to property taxes paid on land that NTMWD purchased?
Since 2008, NTMWD has paid annually the full property taxes on land purchased for the Bois d’Arc Lake project. In June 2017, NTMWD and Fannin County signed an agreement which formally spelled out how the District will continue to keep tax agencies whole by ensuring that the tax receipts of Fannin County and other local taxing entities are not impacted by the District’s acquisition of property for the reservoir. Per the agreement, the District will offset any such impacts until the time when land values within the County increase enough to offset impacts to tax entities.
Will property owners be allowed to have boat docks and other lakeside recreational facilities?
The District is has created a Shoreline Management Plan to guide uses of the shoreline around Bois d’Arc Lake to protect water quality and ensure safe future recreation activities on the lake. This plan allows private property owners next to the lake to request permission to build amenities on NTMWD property or use this NTMWD property for certain activities. NTMWD establishing a process that will allow them to apply for building private boat docks on Bois d’Arc Lake (where they are feasible) as well as fishing piers and placement of recreational facilities on land adjacent to the shoreline, such as picnic tables, patios, BBQ pits and more. See the Shoreline Management page under the Construction Overview section for more information.
Will property owners be allowed to have boat ramps?
Private, non-commercial boat ramps (as opposed to docks) will not be allowed on Bois d’Arc Lake. See the Shoreline Management page under the Construction Overview section for more information.
Does NTMWD own the property around Bois d'Arc Lake, and will it be selling this land to private individuals after the lake is finished?
NTMWD plans to assess the amount of any surplus property around the lake after the Bois d’Arc Lake project is completed. Any land sales would have to undergo NTMWD’s policy for surplus property. This would require authorization by the Board, which typically calls for public bidding on all properties available for sale.
When will construction on roadways around the lake be completed?
All road construction is now finished and roads are open to traffic. The District worked closely with the Fannin County commissioners to identify the best routes for traffic.
The District is compensating Fannin County nearly $1.9 million over 10 years for any potential impacts of construction to county roads and built a road maintenance facility that Fannin County will own and operate.
Are there any noise, dust, safety or other impacts related to current construction?
As with most large construction projects, there are certain activities that may have short-term impacts, and NTMWD’s contractors are working to minimize these as possible.
Environmental Impacts and Mitigation
What were the environmental impacts of this larger-scale project? What was done to mitigate them?
For the reservoir to be built, trees and other vegetation in the future reservoir basin had to be removed. To compensate, NTMWD restored more than 17,000 acres of habitat in two nearby locations, including the previous Riverby Ranch. Efforts included improvements to more than 70 miles of stream, creating 8,500 acres of new wetlands and planting over 6 million trees. This restoration is the largest approved mitigation project in the nation for a single permitted project. For more information, see the Environmental Improvements page under the Construction Overview section.
Will the closed Bonham Landfill endanger the quality of water provided by Bois d’Arc Lake?
No. Nine years of testing at this site shows there will be no impact on the quality of water in Bois d’Arc Lake.
What will happen to wildlife displaced by the Bois d'Arc Lake construction?
Bois d’Arc Lake lies within a 42-mile-long wildlife corridor along Bois d’Arc Creek, extending from State Highway 78 to the Red River. Wildlife displaced during construction of the lake will likely relocate within this corridor.