Murvaul Lake History

Murvaul Lake is 15 miles southwest of Carthage on Murvaul Creek in the Sabine River basin in Panola County (at 32°02′ N, 94°25′ W). The project is owned and operated by the Panola County Fresh Water Supply District Number One, with offices at the lake. Construction of the reservoir began on September 26, 1956, and was completed on June 1, 1958. The lake has a capacity of 45,840 acre-feet and a surface area of 3,820 acres at the spillway crest elevation of 265.3 feet above mean sea level. Water is used for municipal, industrial, and recreational purposes. The drainage area above the dam is 115 square miles. The local terrain is flat and surfaced by clay and sandy loams that support water-tolerant hardwoods, conifers, and grasses.


Lake Murvaul has 3,397 surface acres, with an average maximum depth of 36 feet. Native and non-native aquatic plants are present, with total coverage ranging from 10% to 30% of the lake’s surface. Natural habitat is present in the form of inundated timber, aquatic vegetation, and numerous creek channels. An abundance of man-made structures (rip rap, boat houses and docks) provide additional structural habitat.

Lake Murvaul has an excellent and highly utilized largemouth bass fishery. The reservoir received national recognition in the 1960s for its trophy bass production and continues to produce bass over 8 lbs. Management strategies have been developed to take advantage of Murvaul’s ability to grow large bass. During the late 1990s, a supplemental stocking program was conducted to increase the Florida bass genotype in the population and harvest regulations were modified to protect intermediate-size bass and increase fishing quality. Channel catfish are present in high numbers and provide excellent opportunities for anglers. Quality-size crappie are present with best fishing success in winter and spring. Sunfish (bluegill and redear) are present in good numbers with high numbers of fish over 6 inches available for harvest.

Lake Characteristics

Location: On Murvaul Bayou in Panola County, 15 miles west of Carthage
Surface area: 3,397 acres
Maximum depth: 36 feet
Impounded: 1958

Water Conditions

Conservation Pool Elevation: 265.5 ft. msl
Fluctuation: 2-3 feet
Normal Clarity: Moderately clear

Reservoir Controlling Authority

Panola County Fresh Water District
638 County Road 1234
Carthage, TX 75633

Aquatic Vegetation

Native and non-native aquatic plants are present, with total coverage ranging from 10% to 30% of the lake’s surface.

We currently have Giant Salvinia on the lake: please educate yourself at:

Do your part to save our lakes — clean, drain and dry your boat every time you leave a lake.