How Deep is Lake Palestine in Texas?

© Matthew Raybin/

Written by Emmanuel Kingsley

Updated: June 1, 2023

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Texas is the second-biggest state in America in population and area. The state is famously known for its cowboys and cowgirls, country music, snakes, and longhorns. A feature not commonly associated with Texas is deep lakes.    

The South Central state is often thought to be a desert state. However, deserts only cover about 10% of the state’s landmass, which has over 7,000 lakes. Some notable lakes in the state include Lake Caddo, Lake Sabine, and Lake Palestine.

Lake Palestine is a freshwater reservoir in Texas famous for its fishing tournaments and water-recreational activities. With an array of fish for fishing enthusiasts, it begs the question, “How deep is Lake Palestine?” We’ll find out in this article. 

Where Is Lake Palestine?

Lake Palestine exists solely within northeast Texas and is part of four counties in the state: Anderson, Smith, Henderson, and Cherokee Counties.

The lake is located on the Neches River in Anderson and Cherokee and extends into the Henderson and Smith Counties, stretching northwest to southeast.

Lake Palestine is fed primarily by the Neches River and Kickapoo Creek.

When Was Lake Palestine Formed?

Lake Palestine boat launch August 2011

Lake Palestine and the Blackburn Crossing Dam were completed in 1962.

©Buddpaul / CC BY-SA 3.0 – Original / License

Based on account of the Texas Water Development Board, the artificial lake was formed by the construction of the 5,720-foot-long and 75-foot-high Blackburn Crossing Dam on the Neches River.

The dam’s construction started in 1960 and was completed in June 1962, and it was further enlarged between 1969 and 1971.

How Big Is Lake Palestine?

Lake Palestine drought image Summer 2011

Lake Palestine has a surface area of about 40 square miles.

©Buddpaul / CC BY 3.0 – Original / License

Lake Palestine is one of the biggest lakes in Texas. The lake has a surface area of 40 square miles and is 18 miles long with a shoreline of 135 miles. The widest part of Lake Palestine is four miles across.

In comparison, the largest artificial or natural lake in Texas is the Toledo Bend Reservoir. The reservoir has an area of about 289 square miles and holds the largest volume of water in the state. The large lake is located on the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana, with a shoreline of over 1,200 miles.

How Deep Is Lake Palestine?

The average depth of Lake Palestine is about 16 feet.

©Paul M. Budd / CC BY-SA 4.0 – Original / License

Lake Palestine has an average depth of 16 feet, and according to Texas Parks and Wildlife, it is about 58 feet deep at its deepest point. Due to the uneven bottom of the lake, its depth varies in different areas.

A 2022 news report confirms that the Lake Palestine water levels have been dropping due to drought, making it unsafe for swimmers and boats in some areas. Due to the reduced water levels, discarded materials, timber, boulders, and other debris, can be found close to the water’s surface.

What Is the Deepest Lake in Texas?

Lake Amistad Texas

The deepest lake in Texas is Lake Amistad.


Lake Amistad is the deepest lake in the State of Texas, and the reservoir measures 217 feet deep. The 64,900-acre lake borders Mexico and is located on the Rio Grande River at the Amistad Dam.

Due to the proximity of the Amistad National Recreation Area, the lake has a variety of fish. It is also a popular destination for boating and scuba diving.   

Wildlife in Lake Palestine

Lake Palestine TX

Lake Palestine is home to freshwater fish such as crappies, sunfish, bass, gar, and catfish.

©ImageTek / CC BY 2.0 / flickr – Original / License

Lake Palestine is a freshwater lake. According to a 2021-2022 survey by the Texas Fish and Wildlife Department, some common sportfish found in Lake Palestine include a variety of bass, catfish, crappie, gar, and sunfish.

1. Bass

Full frame of silver / blue striped bass in water, appears to be an aquarium. very blue background.

Some of the bass species in Lake Palestine are white, largemouth, and hybrid striped bass.


Bass fishing is a popular sport in the United States because of the fish’s strength and rewarding size. Basses are quite diverse, with some subspecies being marine dwellers, while some thrive in lakes. A feature shared between the different subspecies is their protruding lower jaw.

Some species found in Lake Palestine are white bass, largemouth bass, and hybrid striped bass. The largemouth bass, one of the most common, can eat about 50% of its weight and has been known to weigh up to 25 pounds. 

2. Catfish

channel catfish

Channel catfish are believed to be the most fished catfish in the world.


Catfish are one of the most distinctive fish species worldwide. They have flat and broad heads with cat-like whiskers. Catfish can have a variety of scale colors, majorly brown, tan, and black. These fish species are carnivorous bottom feeders that prey on worms, small fish, and frogs.  

Catfish are quite adaptive and have successfully been introduced as invasive species in non-native habitats. Lake Palestine has three catfish species: the blue, channel, and flathead catfish.

Blue catfish are the largest catfish in North America, reaching over five feet long, and can weigh over 100 pounds. Channel catfish have been tagged as the most fished catfish worldwide, extending to Asia, Europe, and South America. These fish are favorites because of their tasty meat.  

3. Crappie


Crappies are a popular sport in Texas and are available throughout the year in Lake Palestine.


Crappies are popular sport fish in North America. They are easy to catch as they swim in schools. Crappies are oval-shaped and have silvery-green scales with spiny fins and gill covers. They can grow to an average length of about 11 inches, but individuals can reach 19 inches. These fish are abundant and available throughout the year.

There are two species of crappie in Lake Palestine: the white and the black. White crappies are often found in turbulent waters. However, black crappies can be found in clearer lakes and sometimes in white crappie habitats.

4. Sunfish

Ocean Sunfish, Sunfish, Circle, Nature, Animal

Sunfish are capable of swimming backward.


The name “sunfish” describes two species of fish: bluegill and ocean sunfish. Bluegill is native to lakes, rivers, and ponds in North America. They have flat and dark blue slender bodies with spotted dorsal and pectoral fins and yellow bellies.

These freshwater fish average about 2.6 pounds and grow to 15 inches in length. They feed on zooplankton, insects, crustaceans, and algae. An interesting fact about these fish is that they can swim backward.

5. Gar

Spotted Gar, Ancient, Animal, Animal Stage, Animal Wildlife

Gars can reach up to 10 feet in length.


Gars are one of the largest fish you will find in Lake Palestine, capable of reaching over 350 pounds. These freshwater fish evolved from a lineage of ancient fish species and look old. Gars have long, distinctive snouts and long bodies reaching 10 feet. Their diet range includes fish, crustaceans, frogs, and insects.

Gars are mostly found in rivers, lakes, bayous, and estuaries. Their hard scales have been used in the past for jewelry, arrows, and armor. Alligator gars and longnose gars are two widely distributed species in Texas, and longnose gars are mostly found in the southern part of the state.

Where is Lake Palestine Located on a Map?

Lake Palestine, situated in the northeastern region of Texas, is a man-made freshwater reservoir that serves multiple functions, including industrial, municipal, and recreational uses.

Here is Lake Palestine on a map:

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