With scenic views, recreational opportunities and lakeside living, sometimes visiting the lake just isn't enough. And, making a move to a Brazos River Authority reservoir is a tempting way to start the New Year.
Spread out throughout the Brazos River basin, Possum Kingdom Lake, Lake Granbury and Lake Limestone are unique in their own ways. Each of the three reservoirs offers different amenities, but all provide great places to live.
Photo of Possum Kingdom Lake courtesy of Blake Davis
Possum Kingdom Lake covers an area of 16,716 acres with 219 miles of shoreline. Possum Kingdom receives millions of recreation visitors annually to participate in activities like fishing, water skiing, scuba diving and to visit our award-winning hike and mountain bike trail system. The lake has 10 public use areas that the BRA owns and operates, with amenities that include public fishing piers, boat ramps, play areas and about 400 campsites.
Lake Granbury, just downstream of Possum Kingdom Lake on the Brazos River, has 121 miles of shoreline and covers 8,282 acres. The reservoir, along with gorgeous views, has five BRA public access areas for picnicking and fishing and boat launches, with four of the parks offering primitive camping sites.
Lake Limestone is the only BRA reservoir not located on the Brazos River. The reservoir is located on the upper Navasota River in Limestone, Robertson and Leon counties and covers a surface area of 12,553 acres and has 98 miles of shoreline. The BRA operates two public use areas that include amenities for boating, fishing and seasonal waterfowl hunting.
However, living on a BRA reservoir comes with both privileges and responsibilities. Boating, fishing and hunting within steps of your home are some of those benefits.
But, the water stored in these reservoirs is most likely the same water that is treated and later flows to your home faucets. Maintaining the lake's ecological health is extremely important to the health and well-being of the Texans who rely on the water for daily consumption. As a result, lakeside residents must properly maintain septic systems, regularly service boat motors and properly dispose of leaves, debris and trash from their property to help ensure the water stored in the reservoir remains safe as a drinking water source.
There are other aspects of lakeside living to consider.
• Is the property located in a FEMA-identified flood plain?
• Will flood insurance be necessary?
• Are drinking water and sewer systems available from a local municipal provider, or does the home require drinking water wells or septic systems?
• Does the property have a flowage easement allowing all or part of the area to be periodically flooded?
• If a flowage easement exists, will specific building permits or designs be required to protect the property?
• Is your preferred area of the reservoir deep enough to support your current or future choice of watercraft?
• Does the property come with dock, walkway and/or boat ramp facilities? If not, what will the cost be to build and maintain these structures?
• Is erosion of water-side property an issue or are facilities such as retaining walls already present?
These and other concerns are all points to consider.
Photo of Lake Limestone courtesy of Kandi Prcin-Gates
Maintaining a safe environment for both drinking water and physical structures around the reservoir involves a permitting process.
The BRA is the permitting authority for septic systems, dock facilities and other water & construction improvements within 2000 square feet of Lake Limestone and Possum Kingdom Lake. Lake Granbury is the same; however, Lake Granbury's on-site sewage facility licenses are available through Hood County Environmental Health Department.
If you are thinking about purchasing a home around one of the reservoirs, our lake offices will help make the permitting process as easy as possible. You can call regarding permits that might need to be transferred or to ensure that a permit has been transferred into the proper names at your home's closing.
A permit for on-water facilities or docks allows lakeside property owners the opportunity to construct and maintain private facilities over the reservoir bed. If you need to make modifications to a pre-existing dock or are transferring a dock to your name after purchasing a property that already has a dock, you will need to fill out this permit application.
A residential-use water permit allows lakeside property owners to install water pumps and pipelines to access untreated water supply from the reservoir for landscape and lawn irrigation. The permit allows for up to 60,000 gallons of water to be drawn annually. However, as water levels vary, pump equipment may need to be moved to maintain continuous access to the water supply. Access is not guaranteed in all circumstances.
A residential improvement permit allows lakeside property owners to improve the area adjacent to their property, including constructing a retaining wall along the shoreline, dredging the lake bottom under a dock, removing stumps from the lake bottom and performing maintenance to an existing private boat ramp.
With each property presenting different concerns, contacting the appropriate lake office is the best way to set your lakeside living dreams in motion. This way, BRA staff can provide you with direct information regarding your specific property of interest, whether you are purchasing or transferring a property.
All of the BRA's permits are available to view and download on our website. Visit https://brazos.org/, and the permits for all three reservoirs will be available under the "How do I apply for a permit at…" and you'll click on your reservoir.
Please call or click the links below for more information regarding our reservoirs. We hope to see you at the reservoirs this year!
Possum Kingdom Lake: 940-779-2321 — Living Lakeside at PK
Lake Granbury: 817-573-3212 — Living Lakeside at Lake Granbury
Lake Limestone: 903-529-2141 — Living Lakeside at Lake Limestone