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Sam Rayburn Reservoir: A Project to Evaluate the Aquatic Life Use

A completed project to assess whether TMDLs were necessary to improve water quality for support of aquatic life in Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Sam Rayburn Reservoir
Sam Rayburn Reservoir

Counties: Angelina, Cherokee, Jasper, Newton, Nacogdoches, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, Smith

Parameters: Aluminum, pH, dissolved oxygen, Impaired Fish Community

Basin: Neches River

Segments: 0610, 0615

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Sam Rayburn Reservoir consists of two classified segments: Sam Rayburn Reservoir (0610) and Angelina River / Sam Rayburn Reservoir (0615). Located in East Texas, Sam Rayburn Reservoir was created in 1965 to control floods, generate hydroelectric power, and conserve water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses. The lake is a very popular destination for fishing and boating.

In 2000, data indicated that conditions were not optimal for aquatic life in six areas of the reservoir because of low concentrations of dissolved oxygen. One area of the reservoir had aluminum concentrations that were sometimes too high to provide healthy conditions for aquatic life. And, in one area of the reservoir, the pH was occasionally too high or too low.

The TCEQ conducted a project to evaluate the extent of impairments in the Sam Rayburn Reservoir and to determine whether total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) should be developed for the parameters affecting the lake. Based on evaluation of historical data, and on assessment data collected through February 2001, there were no impairments that required a TMDL. The project was conducted under the direction of the TMDL Program, and was completed in May 2003.

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Public Participation

The TCEQ held a meeting on May 15, 2003, to inform the public of the project’s status and to solicit public opinion. A summary of the meeting and the materials presented are available below.

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Project Documents

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For More Information

Please e-mail us at, and mention the Sam Rayburn Reservoir project in the subject line. Or call us at 512-239-6682.

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