Possum Kingdom Lake
Frequently Asked Questions
Lakeside Living

The fastest way to reach the BRA in an emergency is to call 911. The dispatcher will notify the BRA lake rangers of your concerns and location and will also be able to dispatch emergency medical services and/or the sheriff’s department if necessary.

Violations such as illegal dumping, unsafe boating, boating/swimming accidents or other illegal activity should be reported to the BRA immediately.

During normal working hours (Monday thru Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., excluding holidays), call the BRA at (940) 779-2321.

After normal working hours call the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Office at 940-659-2085. The sheriff's office dispatcher has radio contact with BRA lake rangers and can refer your call to them.

Docks, Retaining Walls, Landscapes and Canals

Permits are required for the installation, repair and replacement of docks, retaining walls and walkways, lake-side water pumps and septic systems. Permit forms are available by clicking here or you may contact the Lake Office at (940) 779-2321 to receive an application by email or the postal service.

The BRA does not require an annual fee for on-water or dock facilities on Possum Kingdom Lake. There is, however, a one-time permit and inspection fee of $75 for installing a new dock, adding on to the existing dock, or transfer of title when you purchase your home.

On-Water Facility permits do not need to be displayed on the dock; however, each dock should have a permit plate displayed that passing boaters can see from the water. If your dock does not have a numbered permit plate, please contact the lake office at 940-779-2321 and one will be sent to you at no cost.

All On-water Facility (Piers & Docks) and Water Use permits must be transferred to the new property owner by the Brazos River Authority by phone, mail, or email. A transfer fee may or may not be required at the time of your request. Preparation of the transfer documents, related inspections of the property and improvements and fees due will be reviewed by the BRA before the transfer is completed. For additional information, contact the Possum Kingdom Lake office at 940-779-2321.

  • Size of new docks is limited to 2,000 square feet
  • Storage closets may be no larger than 40 square feet
  • Three sides can be enclosed
  • A roof with a deck on top is allowed; however, no roof is allowed on an upper deck - awning is allowed on upper deck
  • A replacement dock must follow all new regulations, but may remain the size of the previous dock - grandfathered if above 2000 square feet

All flotation must be encapsulated in an approved rustproof, non-corrosive, UV resistant shell that is at least .15 inches thick. It must provide at least 4 inches of flotation out of the water when the dock is under a dead load or a minimum of 1 inch of flotation out of the water when the dock is under full live load (20 pounds per square foot).

Dock size is dependent upon location. Dock size cannot exceed 2,000 square feet at any residential location; however, limitations may be made to allow for variations in location and proximity to neighbors. Any change in the footprint of the dock must be approved by the lake office via the permit application prior to construction.

Yes, you may paint or install upgrades to your on-water facility without a permit as long as the changes you're making do not change or enlarge the footprint of the dock.

Because repair or general work on docks often requires water access, the BRA requires dock repair and construction companies to obtain a permit to work on the water. You may receive an up-to-date list of contractors with current permits by calling the lake office at 940-779-2321.

To learn if a specific property that does not currently have a dock is eligible for a permit, please contact the lake office and speak with an inspector. 940-779-2321.

Yes, you can dredge and remove tree growth from around your dock; however, because you are disturbing the lakebed, a permit is required by the BRA and/or the US Army Corps of Engineers. Please click here to go to the Permit page and follow the directions for a Residential Improvement Permit.

Erosion can be controlled by installing a retaining or sea wall at the edge of your property at 1,000 foot mean sea level contour of the reservoir. Please complete a Residential Improvement Permit available here and speak with a BRA inspector to determine your property's lake contour location.

The influx of runoff from rainfall regularly moves debris from upstream to accumulate around docks and seawalls. Debris cluttering lakeside property is one of the hazards of living on a Texas waterway. The BRA attempts to remove debris that is a hazard to navigation, a threat to human health and safety, or a potential hazard to the dam gates. However, much of the debris will simply move downstream or will sink to the bottom of the reservoir.

Homeowners are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their retaining or sea walls.

Water Quality

The water in the main body of the lake meets standards for contact recreation. However, no surface water is entirely safe for all people, as all surface water contains bacteria that can be hazardous depending on exposure level and the health of the individual. For additional information on waterborne illnesses, click here.


In most cases, lake water permits are available for domestic use (watering lawns). However some areas such as The Ranch, portions of Sportsman’s World and The Cliffs subdivisions cannot be authorized for water or on-water facility permits due to contractual agreements and deed covenants. Residents seeking water permits in those areas should check with the Inspections Division at our PK Lake Office to determine if they are eligible for a water permit. Permit forms are available by clicking here or you may contact the lake office at (940) 779-2321 to receive an application by email or the postal service.

Septic Systems

The BRA follows Texas Commission on Environmental Quality rules and guidelines in establishing septic system regulations. These regulations help protect the water quality in Possum Kingdom Lake. When the BRA began licensing septic systems in 1977 as the local agent of the TCEQ, systems in place were registered or “grandfathered” and allowed to remain in place. As long as a system functions properly and no additional living area is added, an older, registered system is allowed to remain. When a registered system fails, or must accommodate additional living area, a new “licensed” system is required. If a licensed system is already in place when additional living area is desired, regulations are reviewed to determine current requirements. Current regulations may dictate that additional tank capacity and/or drain field capacity is required to accommodate the additional living area, requiring alteration of the septic system. Further information regarding septic systems can be found at the TCEQ website here or at the lake office.

Water Sales

The State of Texas owns all surface water in the state Texas and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is the agency responsible for regulating (permitting) the use of this surface water. The TCEQ issues the water rights for reservoirs in Texas.

The water rights issued to the Brazos River Authority grant the ability to store and use water for beneficial purposes, including the sale of water for municipal, industrial and agricultural uses. BRA owns the water right for Possum Kingdom Lake (and 10 other lakes) and provides water to our customers by contract under the terms of that water right. To view the permit granting the BRA water rights at Possum Kingdom Lake, click here.

Lake Levels

The elevation of Possum Kingdom Lake at capacity is 999 feet above mean sea level. The current lake elevation may be obtained by clicking here or on the BRA home page here.

The BRA is permitted by the state to annually withdraw up to 230,750 acre feet for water sales from Possum Kingdom Lake. Though this may seem like a lot of water, during years with normal rainfall, streamflow and runoff keep the lake relatively full.

As a water supply reservoir, PK is part of a system of reservoirs operated by the Brazos River Authority. Releases are made to supply water downstream and to make a small daily release to provide a viable habitat for the environment of the Brazos River below Possum Kingdom Lake. The BRA may also make releases from PK as part of a water management balancing plan to help maintain drawdown levels with Lake Granbury as part of the PK-Granbury-Whitney Water Management Plan.

General Questions

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), dirt bikes, or golf carts are not allowed on most BRA property including the lake bed, river bed, public use areas, or PK trails. Some commercial camps allow UTVs and golf carts on the roads within their camp. For more information on particular commercial camp rules, contact the camp operator directly.

No, No-Wake Zones are used to mitigate hazards to boating safety and may include known navigational hazards; narrow, shallow waters; areas of obstructed vision; structures in the area such as dams, trestles, power lines, and fueling docks; designated recreational or swimming areas; congested areas with high traffic (i.e., marinas); or perhaps areas with a history of accidents.

BRA Regulations do not allow for the placement of private buoys on Possum Kingdom Lake as state law offers the ability of enforcement only for buoys placed by the BRA.

People often think that as long as something is organic (such as leaves, grass clippings or old plants), it's alright to dump those items into a lake, river or other body of water. However, it is against state law. The Texas Health Code specifies the fine and punishment for dumping anything, including organic materials, in the waters of the state.

Among the reasons is that nutrients from an excess of organic materials or even over-fertilizing yards or gardens result in algal blooms. As the algae "blooms," it can affect both the dissolved oxygen content of the water and the pH (acidity or alkalinity). These added nutrients in the water can also cause more plant growth in lakes or rivers, leading to impaired navigation in many waterways. This is especially prevalent in shallow areas where sunlight can penetrate the entire water column.

You may contact the BRA after business hours and over the weekend for non-emergency situations by calling the local Sheriff's office and requesting a lake ranger return your call. In the event of an emergency while on the reservoir, you may dial 911, and the dispatcher will send Lake Rangers to your location.

The BRA follows state laws, and at this time, wake boats, surf boats and airboats are not under any restrictions beyond the need to obey wake zones.

Maps of PK are available free of charge from the project office. Please call 940-779-2321 or email information@brazos.org with your physical mailing address.