The Largest Dam in Louisiana Is an Architectural Masterpiece

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Updated: July 27, 2023
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Key Points:

  • Dams hold significant significance in Louisiana as they serve vital purposes such as generating hydroelectric power, managing floods, and ensuring a reliable water supply for irrigation and public needs.
  • Situated on the Sabine River, spanning across the border of Louisiana and Texas, the Toledo Bend Dam stands as the largest dam in Louisiana.
  • Toledo Bend Reservoir offers a diverse range of recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy. These activities encompass fishing, boating, water skiing, camping, hiking, golfing, and various other outdoor pursuits.
The Toledo Bend Dam is the Largest Dam in Louisiana
The Toledo Bend Dam created a reservoir that provides recreational activities including fishing.

Dams play an important role in Louisiana by providing hydroelectric power generation, flood control, and water supply for irrigation and public uses. Additionally, Louisiana has measures in place to regulate the dams in the state through the Louisiana Dam Safety Program.

Dams are also used as an important transportation corridor through the state, such as Bailey’s Dam on the Red River in Alexandria, Louisiana. Overall, dams are crucial infrastructure in Louisiana for various purposes and benefit the state and its residents in multiple ways. Today we are going discover the largest dam in Louisiana, which is an architectural masterpiece!

What Is The Largest Dam in Louisiana?

This is a view of the Toledo Bend Forest Scenic Byway LA Highway 191 dam from South Toledo Bend State Park.

Toledo Bend Dam in Louisiana is the

state’s largest


©William Dillingham/

Toledo Bend Dam is the largest dam in Louisiana and is located on the Sabine River between Louisiana and Texas. It is a rolled earth fill dam with a top elevation of 185 feet. Toledo Bend Reservoir, created by the dam, is also the largest man-made reservoir in the southern United States.

Toledo Bend Reservoir has a conservation capacity of 4,477,000 acre-feet (5.52 km3). The reservoir occupies parts of Newton, Sabine, Panola, and Shelby counties, Texas, and Sabine and De Soto parishes, Louisiana, and has a surface area of 181,600 acres.

What Is The Purpose Of Toledo Bend Dam?

The main purpose of the Toledo Bend Dam is to create the Toledo Bend Reservoir, which is used for hydroelectric power generation, flood control, and water supply for municipal, industrial, and agricultural purposes in Louisiana and Texas. The dam was constructed to help conserve water and control flooding in the Sabine River Basin.

Additionally, the Toledo Bend Reservoir has become a popular destination for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, and camping. Overall, the Toledo Bend Dam serves an important role in the infrastructure of both Louisiana and Texas, providing various benefits to the region and its residents.

How Does Toledo Bend Dam Generate Electricity?

The Toledo Bend Dam generates electricity through a hydroelectric power station that is located at the dam. The station has two hydroelectric generators with a generating capacity of 92,000 kilowatts, which is capable of producing an estimated 205 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year. The hydroelectric generators utilize the flow of water from the Toledo Bend Reservoir to generate electricity.

Water from the reservoir is allowed to flow through turbines inside the station, which in turn drives generators that produce electricity. The generated electricity is then distributed to various areas in both Louisiana and Texas. Overall, the Toledo Bend Dam plays an important role in providing hydroelectric power to the region, as well as other benefits such as flood control and water supply for municipal, industrial, and agricultural purposes.

Cropped image of man and woman sitting in chairs outside the tent. Couple camping in forest.

Camping is a popular activity at the Toledo Bend Reservoir.

©Jacob Lund/

What Recreational Activities Are Available At Toledo Bend Reservoir?

Recreational activities available at Toledo Bend Reservoir include fishing, boating, skiing, camping, hiking, golf, and other outdoor activities. Visitors can also access several state Parks located around the reservoir, such as the North Toledo Bend State Park and the South Toledo Bend State Park, which offer additional recreational opportunities like birding and wildlife viewing.

Additionally, the reservoir is internationally recognized as a destination for bass fishing, with topographical maps available at local sporting goods stores, marinas, and tackle shops. Overall, there are a variety of recreational activities available to enjoy at Toledo Bend Reservoir for visitors to the area.

What Are The Best Places To Stay Near Toledo Bend Reservoir?

There are many great options for places to stay near Toledo Bend Reservoir in Louisiana, including campgrounds, cabins, lodges, resorts, and rental homes. Some of the best options include:

  • Pleasure Point Park-SRA
  • Tranquility Bay Resort
  • Toledo Bend RV Resort and Cabins
  • La Paz Bed and Breakfast
  • Green Acres Fishing Lodge and Bed

Additionally, websites such as Airbnb, Expedia, and Tripadvisor offer a wide range of options for rental homes, cabins, and hotels in the area. It’s best to check each option’s website for availability and pricing as it may vary at different times of the year.

Where Are The Best Fishing Spots At Toledo Bend Reservoir?

Toledo Bend Reservoir is known for its excellent fishing opportunities, so there are many great fishing spots to choose from. Some of the best fishing spots at Toledo Bend Reservoir include:

Pendleton Bridge: This is considered one of the most popular and productive fishing areas on the entire lake.

Housen Bay: This is a great spot for catching largemouth bass, crappie, and catfish, especially in the spring.

Six Mile Creek: This creek is a popular spot for targeting white bass and crappie, particularly in the early spring.

San Miguel: Located on the west coast, this is a great spot for targeting largemouth bass and catfish.

Negreet Creek: This creek is situated on the Louisiana side of the reservoir and is a great spot for both boating and bank fishing.

It is always good to research updates on the conditions of fishing areas before going to them. There are many other great fishing spots throughout the lake as well.

What Types Of Fish Can You Find In Toledo Bend Reservoir?

Lifting huge largemouth bass out of lake.

Largemouth bass are a prized catch in the Toledo Bend Reservoir.

©Maclane Parker/

Toledo Bend Reservoir is home to a wide variety of fish species, making it a popular destination for anglers. Some of the most commonly targeted species at Toledo Bend Reservoir include:

  • Largemouth bass
  • White bass
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Black crappie
  • White crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish (including blue, channel, and flathead)
  • Striped bass
  • Sunfish (such as longear, redear, and green sunfish)

There are many more species of fish in the lake as well, including some that are less commonly targeted. It is important to check the fishing regulations for the specific species that you plan to target, as there may be bag limits, size limits, or other regulations in place.

What Are The Fishing Regulations At Toledo Bend Reservoir?

The fishing regulations at Toledo Bend Reservoir vary depending on the species of fish being targeted and the state in which you are fishing. Here are some of the regulations from Louisiana and Texas:


  • A fishing license is required when fishing on Toledo Bend Reservoir.
  • Only one day’s bag limit of all species of fish may be in possession while on the water at Toledo Bend Reservoir.
  • The possession limit for crappie is 25 per day and a possession limit of 100 fish.
  • Black bass, including largemouth and spotted bass caught in Toledo Bend excluding a small collection of the reservoir.


  • A valid Texas fishing license is required to fish in the Texas waters of Toledo Bend Reservoir.
  • The daily bag limit for alligator gar is 1 fish of any size. There are no bag limits on other species of gar.
  • Anglers are allowed to harvest up to 5 largemouth or spotted bass per day at or over the 14-inch minimum length limit.

It is important to check the regulated zones you are in for each state, and for any updates, regulation changes, or further requirements. You can find more detailed information about fishing regulations at Toledo Bend Reservoir by visiting Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission or Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments’ websites.

Where is Toledo Bend Reservoir Located on a Map?

Toledo Bend Reservoir, situated on the border between Texas and Louisiana, is a sprawling reservoir on the Sabine River. With a vast expanse spanning 185,000 acres, it stands as the largest partially man-made body of water in both states, the largest in the southern region, and ranks as the fifth largest in terms of surface acreage across the United States.

Here is Toledo Bend Reservoir on a map:

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Judy M Darby/

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About the Author

Jennifer Gaeng is a writer at A-Z-Animals focused on animals, lakes, and fishing. With over 15 years of collective experience in writing and researching, Jennifer has honed her skills in various niches, including nature, animals, family care, and self-care. Hailing from Missouri, Jennifer finds inspiration in spending quality time with her loved ones. Her creative spirit extends beyond her writing endeavors, as she finds joy in the art of drawing and immersing herself in the beauty of nature.

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