Possum Kingdom Lake, located on the main stem of the Brazos River northwest of Fort Worth, was the first water supply reservoir constructed in the Brazos River basin. The project was authorized through a permit issued by the State of Texas in 1938.
Located in Young, Palo Pinto, Stephens, and Jack counties, the construction of the Morris Sheppard Dam was begun in 1938 and completed in 1941 with the aid of the Works Progress Program.
Possum Kingdom Lake covers an area of 16,716 acres with 219 miles of shoreline. The reservoir holds approximately 540,000 acre-feet of water with 230,750 acre-feet available as water supply for the Brazos basin. Depth of the lake varies with the original terrain of the area and is approximately 100 feet at the dam site.
Named for the United States senator who was instrumental in obtaining funding for the project, the Morris Sheppard dam is 2,700 feet long and 190 feet high. The dam consists of nine crest “roof weir” type gates, each approximately 74 feet long and 13 feet high for the passage of floodwaters. Each gate passes approximately 9,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) of water when open. The Morris Sheppard dam was originally constructed with a hydro electric generating facility that is no longer in use.
Possum Kingdom receives millions of recreation visitors annually. Major activities on the lake include fishing, water skiing, scuba diving and award winning hike and mountain bike trail system. The lake’s amenities include public fishing piers, seven public boat ramps, ten public access areas and a total of 400 camp sites.