Buffalo Lake

Buffalo Lake is an artificial reservoir impounded by Umbarger Dam, three miles south of Umbarger on upper Tierra Blanca Creek in western Randall County (at 34°55' N, 102°06' W). The dam was built by the Federal Farm Securities Administration to store water for recreational purposes. Construction was started in February 1938 and completed on June 15, 1938; impoundment of water began on June 9. The project was operated by the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture until 1953, when the Forest Service took over. In 1958 operation of the project was transferred to the Fish and Wildlife Service of the United States Department of the Interior, which made the area a national wildlife refuge. The lake's capacity is 18,150 acre-feet at the spillway crest elevation, 3,642.6 feet above mean sea level. The surface area of the lake at this elevation is 1,900 acres. The lake's drainage area is 2,075 square miles, of which 1,500 square miles are probably noncontributing. Several species of waterfowl use the lake as a winter refuge, and facilities for boating, fishing, swimming, skiing, and camping are provided.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Lake Measurements

Surface Area (in acres)
Storage Capacity (in acre-feet)

Belongs to

Buffalo Lake is part of or belongs to the following places.

Lake Maintained or Owned by

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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Date of Origin

1938 85 years ago

Currently Exists


Place type

Buffalo Lake is classified as a Lake


  • Conservation
  • Flood Control

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