Location: On Big Cypress Bayou on the Texas-Louisiana
state line, northeast of Marshall in Harrison and Marion counties
Surface area: 26,800 acres
Maximum depth: 20 feet
Impounded: First dam built in 1914, replaced in 1971
Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 168.5 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 4-8 feet
Normal Clarity: Moderately clear to stained
Reservoir Controlling Authority
US Army Corps of Engineers
Approximately 60% coverage dominated by native submerged and emergent aquatic vegetation
Predominant Fish Species
Boating maps are sold at the State Park concession and other area shops, and are highly recommended for this shallow lake.
Effective September 1, 2011, limits for catfish, crappie, white bass and black basses apply on both the Texas and Louisiana portions of the lake. Harvest regulations for some other species, including alligator gar, may differ between the two states.
- See Texas bag and size limits for Caddo Lake.
- For details on Louisiana regulations, visit the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries or call (318) 676-7594.
The following regulation applies to Big Cypress Bayou downstream of Ferrell’s Bridge Dam on Lake O’ the Pines, including the Texas waters of Caddo Lake: it is unlawful to transport live, nongame fishes from these waters to any other water body. Nongame fishes may be collected and used for bait in the same water body where they were caught. For more details, see Possession and Transport of Exotic Aquatic Species.
Largemouth bass is the most popular sportfish at Caddo Lake with good numbers of trophy-size bass (over 8 lbs) available. The lake also supports quality crappie, white bass, and sunfish fisheries. Channel, blue, and flathead catfish are present and provide good seasonal fishing opportunities. Chain pickerel, a smaller cousin of the northern pike, is also present and frequently sought by anglers because of its sporting qualities.
Caddo began as a natural lake, but was dammed for flood control in the early 1900s. Native and non-native aquatic vegetation covers approximately 95 percent of the lake's surface area in Texas. Inundated baldcypress trees are scattered throughout this comparatively shallow water body and provide excellent fish habitat. Man-made structures such as fishing piers and duck blinds also provide habitat for cover-seeking species.
Although largemouth bass fishing is good throughout the year, the time to fish for trophy fish is spring, with March being the most productive month. Crappie fishing is most productive in winter and early spring with good numbers of legal-size fish available for harvest. Peak fishing time for white bass occurs during winter and early spring in areas where water current is present. Chain pickerel are also good at this time of the year; the best habitat to fish is around submerged aquatic vegetation. Late spring and early summer is a most productive time to fish for sunfishes and catfishes at Caddo Lake.