Frequently Asked Questions

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Where can I rent a boat or a jetski?
How do I find the current lake elevation and generation schedule?
Why is the Lake Level Low (or High)?
How do I make a campsite reservation?
How can my son or daughter volunteer a project for an Eagle Scout or Gold Award?
What is the record for the largest fish caught in the lake?
Where can I ride my 4 Wheeler or Off Road Vehicle on Sam Rayburn?
What facilities are available for a family reunion?
Where does the money go when I pay to rent a campsite or launch a boat?
How can I become a Gate Attendant in one of the parks?
Where can I hunt on Sam Rayburn?
What is the policy on metal detectors?
What is the policy on geocaching?

 

Where can I rent a boat or a jetski?
There are currently no local businesses that are authorized to rent motorboats or personal watercraft. 

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How do I find the current lake elevation and generation schedule?
The current lake elevation is automatically posted on the Sam Rayburn website Home Page (Click Here) under the Lake Elevation/Gate Opening block in the middle of the page. Generation times and flow releases are posted in the TURBINE SCHEDULE link on the opening page. Additional information may be available by calling the Sam Rayburn Project Office at 409-384-5716.  

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Why is the Lake Level Low (or High)?
The primary objectives of the Sam Rayburn Reservoir are flood control, water supply and hydroelectric power.  Released water from Sam Rayburn Dam is also used to prevent salt water intrusion into the lower Neches River where the city of Beaumont water supply intakes are located. The lake holds water during times of flood to reduce potential damages downstream. Water is released from Sam Rayburn Dam only if the flow in the lower Neches River is below 20,000 cfs and forecasted to remain below this flow.  The only exception to this rule is when the lake has risen above elevation 173.0 feet, well into the flood pool. 
When the lake level at Sam Rayburn Reservoir is below elevation 164.4 feet it is considered to be in the conservation pool.  Water releases from the conservation pool are made only if it is needed for water supply or hydroelectric power.  In both cases the water is released through the turbines to maximize the benefits of the dam. If the lake level is between elevations 164.4 and 173.0 feet Sam Rayburn Reservoir is considered to be in the flood pool.  The water stored in this pool is released as soon as practical, when there is channel capacity available downstream.
Since Sam Rayburn must hold and/or release water during the year, the lake level fluctuates considerably. It is not unusual for the lake level to exceed elevation 170.0 feet (flood stage), or fall to elevation 158.0 feet or lower during periods of drought.  The lake level will drop when there is inadequate flow coming into the lake from the Angelina River watershed, and evaporation removes consderable water as well during the summer months.

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How do I make a campsite reservation?
Advance reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance of the arrival date, and must be made a minimum of four days in advance of arrival. A reservation made on a Monday will allow arrival on the following Friday. Approximately 70% of the campsites at Sam Rayburn are reservable. 
Reservations may be made over the Internet at www.recreation.gov or by calling
toll-free 1-877-444-6777. Reservations can also be made at the individual parks, however reservations can be made ONLY for reservations in that park. A reservation for Twin Dikes Park cannot be made from Mill Creek Park.
Reservations made by Internet or telephone require a credit card. Reservations at the park can be paid with credit card, personal check or cash.

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How can my son or daughter volunteer a project for an Eagle Scout or Gold Award?
For more information on Eagle Scout and other projects, please contact the Sam Rayburn Volunteer Coordinator at 409-384-5716 or Click Here. to send an email.

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What is the record for the largest fish caught in the lake?
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department maintains an up-to-date listing of record fish for each lake in Texas. To see records for Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Click Here. Scroll to find "Lake Records."

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Where can I ride my 4 Wheeler or Off Road Vehicle on Sam Rayburn?
The management of US Army Corps of Engineers lands are governed by 36 US Code 327, commonly known as "Title 36." Within this code, section 2(c) states "The operation and/or parking of a vehicle off authorized roadways is prohibited except at locations and times designated by the District Commander." Given the relatively small land base and the highly erodible soils at Sam Rayburn, there are no designated off road areas where vehicles can legally operate. Therefore, all vehicles of any type (including golf carts, cars, trucks, etc.) are prohibited from operating or parking on Corps land, except on designated roads. A copy of Title 36 can be found Here.

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What facilities are available for a family reunion?
There are Day Use Group Shelters at Mill Creek, Twin Dikes, San Augustine and Hanks Creek Parks. The Mill Creek & San Augustine Shelters are $50 per day, Hanks Creek is a larger, newer facility that rents for $60 per day, whiel the smaller Twin Dikes Shelter is $30 per day. Overnight camping is not allowed at these shelters - they are Day Use only.

- A Group Camping Area in Hanks Creek Park does allow overnight camping. It features five RV sites (with electric and water hookups) along with the Group Shelter for $100 per night.
- Ebenezer Park features an enclosed building with A/C, heat, kitchen, restroom,outdoor grills, basketball goal, walking access to the swim beach, folding tables and seating for approximatley 50 people. This facility rents for $100 per day. Overnight camping is prohibited. A security deposit is required in advance, and will be refunded if the facility ls left clean and intact.
Additional information on these facilities can be found HERE.

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Where does the money go when I pay to rent a campsite or launch a boat?
Since the US Army Corps of Engineers is part of the Department of Defense, the user fees collected are handled differently that those fees collected by the US Forest Service, National Parks, Bureau of Land Management, etc. All of the user fees collected at Sam Rayburn (and all Corps parks across America) are required to be forwarded to the General Treasury. None of the fees remain at the park where the fees were collected. 

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How can I become a Gate Attendant in one of the parks?
Gate attendants are paid contractors who perform fee collection and general park management duties, and are critical members of the recreation management team. Information concerning the positions can be found Here.

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Where can I hunt on Sam Rayburn?
Information on hunting can be found by clicking HERE.  

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What is the policy on Metal Detectors?
USE OF METAL DETECTORS ON LANDS OR WATERS CONTROLLED BY THE U. S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS ON SAM RAYBURN RESERVOIR IS PROHIBITED WITH THE FOLLOWING EXCEPTIONS.  In general, Corps policy allows for use of metal detectors only at designated beaches; The only designated beaches are located in Ebenezer, Mill Creek, San Augustine, and Hanks Creek Parks.

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Geocaching may be allowed on public lands managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers, providing the activity is performed in compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 (CFR 36) and any applicable State or local rules and regulations, and is carried out in a non obtrusive manner, following “common sense” guidelines. Given the heightened security since September 11, 2001, any geocaching activity on the Sam Rayburn Project requires a permit from the Project Office. There is no charge for this permit, and the Coordinator can be reached at 409-384-5716 or by e-mail at Click Here. Information needed for the permit include the cache coordinates (location), histher name, and histhler address and phone number. The intent of collecting this information is to keep track of the location and number of caches on the project, and to contact the owner if the caches need to be removed. The applicant should also provide a current picture ID with an address to confirm the applicant's identity. The applicant's request can be denied for failure to comply with the information required for the permit application.
Geocache objects or containers should be clearly identified as such when placed on public lands. Transparent containers are required, due to homeland security issues. Caches should not contain alcohol, drugs or other illicit or inappropriate materials.

Additional information on geocaching policy may be found Here.

 

 

 

This site last updated on March 12, 2010