Brazos River Authority
Lake Granbury is a man-made reservoir built by the Brazos River Authority in 1968. It is formed by the DeCordova Bend Dam and serves as a source of water supply. The reservoir spans more than 8,200 acres within Hood and Parker counties and is the heart of the City of Granbury.
The reservoir has five public park areas available free-of-charge for picnicking and fishing. Four parks offer overnight camping sites on a first come, first served basis. Restroom facilities are available at each park. DeCordova Bend Park offers a designated swim area marked by buoys; however, there are no lifeguards on duty at any BRA park.
For your safety, glass containers are not allowed. Trash dumpsters are provided for park visitors’ use. Fires are restricted to cooking grills only. Leashed family pets are allowed at BRA parks with the exception of designated swim areas. Owners are responsible for removing and disposing of pet waste in park trash bins. Other park regulations are posted at the entrance of each park.
Boat ramps located at Hunter, Rough Creek, Thorp Spring, and DeCordova Bend Parks are also available year-round at no charge. Boaters should be aware that areas of the reservoir are shallow and stump-fields are numerous. Lighted channel marker buoys are provided for safety and no-wake, and slow buoys mark areas where caution is advised.
Lake Granbury has been known for outstanding fishing both on the reservoir and below the DeCordova Bend Dam. Fishing is allowed at piers in each park area, as well as below the dam’s restricted area, which is accessed from the DeCordova Bend Park. Visitors may park near the gate to the restricted area and may walk along the chain link fence about 1/3 mile down to the river. Please be advised; it’s a steep drop down to the fishing area. Anglers must heed all warning signs and flashing lights.
Waterfowl hunting is available on Lake Granbury during the designated season in designated hunting blind sites only. A lottery-style drawing for the sites is held each year in August. For the safety of residents and visitors, hunting on BRA property and parks outside of designated areas is not allowed.
The BRA employs Lake Rangers who serve as law enforcement both on and around Lake Granbury. Lake Rangers are commissioned peace officers who patrol the reservoir and respond to both emergency calls and routine complaints. They conduct water safety inspections and present public awareness programs on boater safety and alcohol-related incidents.
Lake Granbury was authorized through a permit issued by the State of Texas in 1964. Construction began in December 1966 and was completed by September 1969. The project provides 136,326 acre-feet of water supply storage capacity that is used to meet the requirements of municipalities, industries, agriculture, and mining.
The DeCordova Bend Dam houses 16 “Tainter” gates for water release. Each gate measures 36 feet wide x 35 feet high. When fully open, the gates have the capability of releasing up to 433,000 cubic feet per second. The top of the Tainter gates is measured at 693 feet mean sea level. The BRA considers the reservoir full at 692.7 feet msl.
The reservoir was built without the use of tax dollars, financed entirely with funds from a water supply agreement with TXU Electric Company for purchase of water for industrial use, including cooling water for a natural gas-fired steam electric power plant on the reservoir and the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant near Glen Rose. The reservoir also furnishes raw water to Hood and Johnson counties for municipal use.
Thorp Spring Park
Located on the north end of the reservoir near Hwy. 4, Thorp Spring Park offers primitive camping with a boat launching ramp, picnic tables, and restrooms. Overnight camping is available free-of-charge on a first-come, first served basis for up to 10 days.
Located off Hwy 51, the park offers primitive camping. The park area offers a boat launching ramp, fishing pier, picnic tables, and restrooms. Overnight camping is available free of charge on a first-come, first served basis for up to 10 days.
Owned and operated by the City of Granbury, this park is located in downtown Granbury and offers restrooms, a boat launch ramp, swimming, and paddleboard rental.
Rough Creek Park
Located off Hwy 377, the park offers primitive camping. The park area offers a boat launching ramp, fishing pier, picnic tables, and restrooms. Overnight camping is available free of charge on a first-come, first served basis for up to 10 days.
DeCordova Bend Park
Located on the north side of the DeCordova Bend Dam, the park offers a boat launch ramp, fishing pier, designated swim area, picnic tables, and restrooms. Overnight camping is available free of charge on a first-come, first served basis for up to 10 days.
Located at the reservoir’s project office near the dam, Observation Point offers picnic tables and parking. There is no drinking water at this site.
Recreational Water Safety
The water in the main body of the reservoir 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. Bacteria such as such as E. coli, cryptosporidium and primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) may all be found in surface water.
A Lifejacket Won’t Save Your Life Unless You’re Wearing It!
All children under the age of 13 must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) when on a boat that is underway. Any boat with occupants, regardless of age, must have at least the same number of PFD’s and the proper size as the occupants.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 70 percent of recreational fatalities are alcohol-related. Alcohol affects everyone differently due to a number of factors: body size, age of the drinker, drinking experience, amount of food in the stomach and how quickly the alcohol is consumed. It is important to know your limit. Alcohol enters the bloodstream immediately. It takes approximately 1-1/2 hours for a 12-ounce drink to leave the body of an average-sized person. A person may remain intoxicated hours after drinking or even into the next day following a night of drinking.
Texas is located in the southern portion of an area known as “Tornado Alley.” Certain atmospheric conditions unique to the state’s geographic location spawn a number of violent weather systems every year, including high winds, sudden thunderstorms, lightning, hail, and tornadoes. When operating a boat on any of Texas’ waterways, be sure to heed the area wind warnings, and pay attention to the weather.
About the Brazos River Authority
The Brazos River Authority, with headquarters in Waco, is the oldest river authority in Texas. Created by the Texas Legislature in 1929, the BRA's 42,000 square-mile territory includes all or part of 70 counties; extending from the Texas-New Mexico border west of Lubbock to the Gulf of Mexico near Freeport.
River Flows and Dam Gate Operations
Looking for information on the flow of the Brazos River or potential dam floodgate openings? You may find information on river flows, reservoir levels and rainfall at www.BrazosBasinNOW.org.