How Deep is Lake Conroe in Texas?

Written by Alan
Published: February 1, 2023
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Over the years, the Lake Conroe region, located 45 miles from Houston city, has become one of the best destination centers for jet skiing and other outdoor activities. 

Exquisite hotels, comfortable condominiums, great weather, and mushrooming neighborhoods (such as the Grand Harbor, Corinthian Point, and Del Lago) are some of the reasons visitors keep coming back. 

The lake gets most of its water from the San Jacinto River and has 5,000 acres of its water masses in the Sam Houston National Forest. 

Besides being a backup water source in Houston, the lake has provided drinking water for Montgomery County since 2015 by offering supplemental groundwater sources. 

Today, discuss the depth of Lake Conroe and everything you need to know about the region and its surroundings. 

A view through some trees of Lake Conroe, Texas
Lake Conroe has an average depth of 20 feet and 70 feet deep at the river channel.


The Depth of Lake Conroe in Texas

Lake Conroe has an average depth of 20 feet and 70 feet deep at the river channel. On August 28, 2017, it had its highest level in history at 206.24, which is 1.06 higher than a previous record held on October 19, 1994. 

Further, the lowest level of the lake in history is 192.68, held on December 2, 2011, with a previous low record of 196.02 on January 12, 1989. The lake has a flow easement of 207 feet above sea level, which is essential in case of flooding, and a full release of 79,141 cubic feet per second, experienced on August 28, 2017. 

According to the San Jacinto River Authority, Lake Conroe can hold up to 430,000 acres of water, with an elevation of 201 feet above mean sea level. 

Despite the name Conroe, the lake cuts across various cities, namely Conroe, Willis, and Montgomery, with Conroe holding a more significant portion of the lake. The lake is situated on the San Jacinto River’s west fork and covers over 21,000 acres of water. 

Lake Conroe is six miles wide and 26 miles long and is famous for activities such as jet skiing, boating, and fishing. 

Is Lake Conroe a Man-Made Lake? 

Lake Conroe is an artificial lake built in 1973 to curb future water shortage after the drought that hit Houston and the surrounding area in the 1950s. In addition, the project aimed to ensure an alternative water source for Houston residents. 

The lake was designed by Freese, Nichols, and Endress Engineering Inc., with HB Zachary Company as the lead contractor. 

The Lake Conroe project began in 1968 and ended in 1973, after which it was filled with water within nine months, made possible by the presence of the San Jacinto River that empties into it. 

Long-Term Management

Houston City and the San Jacinto River Authority manage the lake project. Many other reservoirs were established in Texas after the historic drought in the 1950s with the same agenda. 

The lake consists of a dam with four outlet structures comprising a single service spillway, two concrete outlets, and a single service outlet. The service spillway is 40 feet wide and 30 feet high and has five gates. 

The service spillway is essential in the event of floods. On the other hand, the service outlet has three gates that allow water to flow downstream to Houston Lake. It has an elevation of 212 feet above mean sea level and a width of 2.2 miles. 

In 2017, the dam had its highest gate opening in its history at 14 feet per gate compared to the previous six feet record experienced in 1994. 

San Jacinto River Authority takes charge of developing and conserving the water resources in the San Jacinto Region, including the Conroe River that cuts across seven counties. 

Besides, it manages 27 canal systems that provide water for drinking and industrial use, offers soil conservation resources to farmers and ranchers, and implements flood control measures. 

Lake Conroe is an artificial lake built in 1973 to curb future water shortage after the drought that hit Houston and the surrounding area in the 1950s.

©Mudman Photos/

Attractions Around Lake Conroe

Apart from the lake, other features make the region attractive to visitors. These include the Sam Houston National Forest, wineries, and golf courses.

Sam Houston National Forest

This is one of the four forests in Texas found in the northern part of Houston. It experiences short and mild winters, while the summers here are hot and humid. It cuts across three counties: San Jacinto, Montgomery, and Walker. 

The forest operates on the multiple-use management concept that allows visitors to explore its benefits without causing harm to its resources, which include plants, animals, and natural resources. It consists of various trails you must be aware of before visiting to ensure that you keep up with the laws. 

The Atakapa people, who became extinct in early 1800, were the indigenous people in the region. They were mainly hunters and gatherers. According to research, disease and European settlement caused their extinction. 

Hiking is a popular recreational activity in this forest since it has a 128-mile Lone Star hiking trail. This trail may be explored throughout the year, but winter and spring are favorable seasons because of the mild climate. 

Moreover, the forest has camping grounds such as the Double Lake, Cagle, and Stubblefield recreation areas. 

For instance, the Stubblefield Recreation Area has been operational since 1937 and offers adventurous experiences like fishing, canoeing, picnicking, hiking, and camping. It also provides amenities such as camping trailers, lantern posts, barbeque grills, drinking water, showers, and flush toilets that allow visitors a comfortable experience even while in the forest. 

Road in Sam Houston National Forest
Sam Houston National Forest is one of the four forests in Texas found in the northern part of Houston.

©Tyler Stuard/

Wineries at Lake Conroe

The Lake Conroe area has numerous award-winning wineries in the surrounding districts. Some have extensive vineyard properties, while others are adorned with exquisite wine-tasting rooms. 

Besides, some hold event spaces that can be rented for events such as weddings or evening dinners. Also, the region is equipped with several wine bars for bar lovers. Some wineries in the area include DeepRoots Vineyards, West Sandy Creek Winery, and Golden Oak Micro Cellar. 

Lake Conroe’s Golf Courses

The Lake Conroe region is known for golf courses that offer unique lake views surrounded by the conspicuous pine trees that make it more attractive. 

For instance, the Walden course is located in the southern part of the lake. It offers membership to both residents and non-residents. It is a premier course ranked fifth in the state, according to Golf Digest. Others include The Bentwater Course and Margaritaville Course. 

The Weather Around Lake Conroe

According to the San Jacinto River Authority, the Conroe Lake region receives an average of 48 inches of rainfall annually. It has an evaporation rate of about 180 million gallons daily and experiences short but cold winters and scorching summers. 

May receives the highest amount of rainfall, while July gets the least. In hindsight, the place is wet and partly cloudy throughout the year. However, according to the tourism score, warm weather activities in the area are well enjoyed between April and early June and from mid-September to late October. 

Lake Conroe’s average water temperature varies throughout the year. June 1 to September 30 record the warmest water temperatures, with an average of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. While the warmest waters in the region can be experienced in August, which has an average temperature of over 85 degrees Fahrenheit. 

On the other hand, cooler waters are experienced from December 10 to March 17, with temperatures of less than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Whereas, January has the coolest water temperature of below 59 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Things to Do at Lake Conroe

Fishing on Milford Lake in Kansas
One of the major activities at the lake is fishing.

©Acorns Resort / Flickr – License

One of the major activities at the lake is fishing with the largemouth bass as the famous fish species. This species is easily caught at the boat docks and the marinas, especially during the spring season. 

Other fish species include the channel catfish, bowfin, carp, blue catfish, crappie, bluegills, and catfish, mainly found in the lake’s deep waters. 

There is also swimming (preferably at Lake Conroe Park) and various playgrounds, such as a volleyball court. 

Another popular activity in the region is boating. The lake offers a range of exhilarating boating amusements such as jet skiing, boat riding, and kayaking throughout the year. 

You can either bring your boats or rent from the available boat rentals. There are also wineries equipped with wine-tasting rooms for wine lovers. Also, fabulous restaurants with scenic views that provide lake-side dining. 

Other activities include hiking at the San Houston National Forest, biking, and golfing. Only an hour away from the city, the lake region has exponentially grown, attracting crowds that desire a suburban environment. 

Precautions to Take at Lake Conroe Lake 

life jacket
As much as Lake Conroe has become one of the busiest destination centers, it is also among the most dangerous lakes to visit.

©Max Lindenthaler/

As much as Lake Conroe has become one of the busiest destination centers, it is also among the most dangerous lakes to visit. 

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, between 2010 and 2020, there were 26 drowning cases and other boat-related accidents. The mishaps are attributed to the many boats at Lake Conroe (up to 2,000 boats at ago). This is especially so during the weekends and holidays, which resulted in many collisions. Also, overlooking the safety precautions put in place increases the dangers at the lake. 

As per research, 85% of the casualties of the boat mishaps did not wear safety gear like life jackets. This fact contributed to their deaths, followed by alcohol, more so by the drunk riders. 

Another factor is overspeeding, which makes the riders oblivious to the swimmers leading to clashes. Also, the increase in the number of visitors is a contributing factor since they are not acquainted with the rules. 

Visitors are encouraged to wear safety gear, avoid alcohol when riding, avoid overspeeding, and observe the safety precautions. But some officials constantly patrol the area to conduct safety checks. 

Plants and Animals Around Lake Conroe

blue catfish vs channel catfish
Lake Conroe is known for its fishing activities and is home to various fish species, such as the blue catfish.

©M Huston/

Lake Conroe is known for its fishing activities. It is home to various fish species, such as the largemouth bass, blue catfish, and crappie fish.

Grass carp is one of the native plants around Lake Conroe. It was introduced to aid in eliminating hydrilla. This is a type of aquatic vegetation that infested the lake after it had been filled. 

You can also find animals in the nearby national forest. Deer is the most common to see, followed by squirrels, doves, and quails.

Birds that eat ticks: Quail
You can also find animals in the nearby national forest, like quail.


The forest also hosts endangered bird species like the bald eagle. They can be spotted on the trees at the lake’s shorelines. Another common endangered species in the forest is the red-cockaded woodpecker.

Final Thoughts

At an average of 20 feet deep and 70 feet deep at the river channel, Lake Conroe was built to ensure the residents of Houston and its surroundings have a continuous water supply. Especially in the event of drought.

 Even so, its presence has boosted the region. Making it one of the ideal places to visit, whether for relaxation or exhilarating adventures. Moreover, since it is only an hour away from the city, it is perfect even for commuters. 

But fun activities like boating and skiing can be dangerous because of speeding or drunk riding. So being aware of the safety precautions will enable you to enjoy your lake visit without worrying about accidents.

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The Featured Image

View of fishing docks on Lake Conroe
Lake Conroe is a popular spot for fishing and boating.
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About the Author

Alan is a freelance writer and an avid traveler. He specializes in travel content. When he visits home he enjoys spending time with his family Rottie, Opie.

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