Shoreline Management

The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) owns all land along the Bois d’Arc Lake shoreline below the 541’ mean sea level (MSL) elevation as well as some additional areas adjacent to the shoreline.

Access and use of NTMWD-owned shoreline requires written approval from NTMWD. Private property owners next to the lake may request permission to access the property to build amenities like docks, remove trees and vegetation, improve the land or use it for certain activities through our permitting process (which may require a fee). If their request is approved, these owners will receive a Shoreline Lease Agreement. The Bois d’Arc Lake Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) provides guidelines for obtaining these agreements and approved shoreline uses and improvements (see below).

What is the Shoreline Management Plan?

The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) balances drinking water supply needs with safe recreational uses and sustainability. The SMP guides use of the shoreline up to the 541-foot elevation, which is property owned by NTMWD that includes the 100-year flood level. The SMP also regulates uses of NTMWD property along the shoreline by current and future private property owners.

NTMWD developed the plan by drawing on a technical analysis of the lake and its shoreline, local zoning laws, the Fannin County’s Comprehensive Plan for Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir and input from stakeholders considered during that plan’s development.

The Shoreline Management Plan:

  • Offers a shared vision for the lake and its proper use
  • Creates shoreline classifications to help balance different factors affecting the lake and shoreline
  • Provides direction for local property owners on approved uses of the shoreline
  • Promotes appropriate and safe recreational uses of the lake

Shoreline Classifications

Bois d’Arc Lake’s shoreline falls into five different classifications:

  1. Restricted
  2. Environmentally Sensitive
  3. Limited Development
  4. Dock Capable
  5. Public Access/Commercial Development

See the Shoreline Management Plan for more on what is allowed in each area and the official shoreline classification map.

Activities allowed on a particular shoreline will be determined based on these classifications as well as the unique characteristics of the site. Activities that may be authorized include boat docks, fishing piers and placement of recreational facilities on land adjacent to the shoreline, such as picnic tables, patios, BBQ pits and more.

These shoreline classifications do not guarantee an activity will be approved, and on-site conditions must be verified through a site visit as part of the shoreline use approval process. Shorelines may be reclassified based on the characteristics found during these site visits.

Please note – landowners may need to obtain authorization from Fannin County for certain improvements on their property or along the shoreline. More information on Fannin County planning and zoning ordinances can be found on their website.

Obtaining a Shoreline Lease & Use Agreement

Private property owners with land adjacent to Bois d’Arc Lake’s shoreline will soon be able to request permission to build authorized structures including boat docks or use the shoreline through the process outlined below. Once the online request system is completed and available, an application link and additional instructions will be added to this page.

General Steps to Obtain a Shoreline Lease & Use Agreement

  1. Applicant contacts the NTMWD Lake Manager to schedule a pre-application meeting about the use or structure they would like approved by NTMWD.
  2. Applicant submits the request for using or building on the lake shoreline in writing to the NTMWD Lake Manager.
  3. NTMWD reviews available data to determine whether the proposed location is suitable for the activity or structure. Docks must meet spacing, density and construction requirements, including construction by an authorized builder.
  4. A NTMWD representative visits the site before approving the request.
  5. If the request is approved, the applicant must conduct a boundary survey marking, complete and submit an application for a Shoreline Lease & Use Agreement and pay the associated one-time or yearly fixed fee. Fees are listed by types of agreement in the full SMP.
  6. NTMWD sends the Shoreline Lease & Use Agreement with conditions to the applicant to sign.
  7. The NTMWD Lake Manager countersigns the agreement and issues two (usually five-year) shoreline use tags to the applicant for display on the dock or other structure.
  8. NTMWD conducts periodic inspections throughout the agreement term.

Partnering with Fannin County

The District’s Shoreline Management Plan was developed through a cooperative process between NTMWD and Fannin County.

  • In 2011, with the support of NTMWD and Fannin County, the state amended the Texas Local Government Code to grant Fannin County the authority to zone the area within 5,000 feet of the future lake’s shoreline.
  • In October 2016, the Fannin County Commissioners Court approved the County’s Comprehensive Plan for Bois d’Arc Lake. This comprehensive plan, which included a robust public process, established a vision for how the land around Bois d’Arc Lake’s shoreline should develop.
  • In October 2018, Fannin County officials approved the lake’s zoning regulations.