Possum Kingdom Lake

Impounded by Morris Sheppard Dam Updated 10 months ago
Children hiking near Possum Kingdom Lake

Children hiking near Possum Kingdom Lake

Photo by Loadmaster, CC by SA 3

Possum Kingdom Reservoir, popularly known as Possum Kingdom Lake, is on the Brazos River in Palo Pinto, Stephens, Jack, and Young counties (its center is at 32°52' N, 98°26' W). It has a capacity of 724,700 acre-feet, a surface area of 19,800 acres, and a shoreline of 310 miles. Here Morris Sheppard Dam impounds 1,500,000 acre-feet of water annually for municipal, industrial, mining, irrigation, flood-control, recreational, and power-generation uses. Area hills and valleys, post oaks, and cedars make a "veritable paradise" for possums around the lake. The dam, named for Senator John Morris Sheppard and authorized by the United States Congress in 1935, was the first erected by the Brazos River Conservation and Reclamation District (see BRAZOS RIVER AUTHORITY). It was begun on May 29, 1938, under general contractors C. F. Lytle and A. L. Johnson and completed on March 20, 1941. The dam, a heavily buttressed concrete structure with adjoining earth embankment, was built at a cost of $8,500,000, which represented a $4,500,000 grant from the federal government, supplemented by $4,000,000 from ad valorem taxes in ten counties along the lower Brazos watershed. Drainage area above the dam is 22,550 square miles, of which 9,240 are noncontributing. The dam is 2,747 feet long and has a maximum height of 189 feet; the spillway is 987 feet above mean sea level. The average output of the dam's power-generating plant is estimated at 73,000,000 KWH. The lake and reservoir are currently owned and operated by the Brazos River Authority.

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

Possum Kingdom Lake is part of or belongs to the following places.

Lake Maintained or Owned by

Brazos River Authority

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Date of Origin

1941 82 years ago

Currently Exists


Place type

Possum Kingdom Lake is classified as a Lake


  • Recreation
  • Power generation
  • Municipal water supply
  • Irrigation
  • Industry
  • Mining

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