Richland Chambers Lake is the 3rd largest lake in the boundaries of the State of Texas. It is 44,000 Acres of water with 330 miles of shoreline.
General Lake Information
- Where is Richland Chambers Lake?
Richland Chambers is located in Southeastern Navarro county and stretches into Northern Freestone County. Corsicana is the closest 'big' town and is 20 to 30 minutes from most places on the lake. The lake is Y shaped and it is about 15 miles down US 287 from I45 to the bridge in the center of the lake area.
- How Big is Richland Chambers Lake?
Richland Chambers Lake is the 3rd largest lake within the boundaries of Texas. It is 44,000 Surface Acres at Full Pool, 315” above mean sea level, with 330 miles of shoreline. At 2 feet over full, 317 feet above mean sea level, the reservoir encompasses a surface area of 45,500 acres.
- When was Richland Chambers Built?
Dam construction began in October of 1982. After a major drought in the 1950's, Tarrant Regional Water District made plans to build Richland-Chambers Reservoir. No action was taken until October 1, 1979, when the water district issued $342.75 million in revenue bonds for construction. Deliberate impoundment of water began on July 14, 1987. With completion of the reservoir in November of 1987, the lake filled by May 1989. On November 12, 1988, TRWD began pumping water to Lake Benbrook for the Tarrant County area.
- Who is the governing authority for Richland Chambers Lake?
Tarrant Regional Water District is the lake authority. TRWD built and maintain the reservoir. You can find lots of information on their website TRWD.com.
- Lakes owned by Tarrant Regional Water District
Lake Bridgeport, Cedar Creek Lake, Eagle Mountain Lake and Richland Chambers Lake
TRWD stores water in Lake Arlington, Lake Benbrook and Lake Worth
- Lakes owned by Tarrant Regional Water District
- How is Richland Chambers different from an Army Corps of Engineers Lake?
Richland Chambers Lake is owned by Tarrant Regional water District and is not directly governed by The Army Corp of Engineers. The primary difference is that on Richland Chambers you own to what is known as the 315' line (also known as the 'Pool Level' or "Conservation Level) In simple terms when the lake is full you own to the water's edge. On a 'Corp' Lake there is an easement between your property line and the water often of 100 or more feet.
Richland Chambers Lake Level Information
- What are Richland Chambers Lake levels?
- 315’ above mean sea level = Full Pool, also known as the Conservation Level
- 318” above mean sea level = The current 100 yr Flood Level
- 320’ above mean sea level = TRWD’s Flood Easement, also the build line
- Where does Richland Chambers get its water from?
Richland Chambers Lake is the confluence of Richland Creek and Chambers Creek. The drainage area (watershed) for the lake covers 1957 square miles lakes spanning across 6 counties. The watershed also includes numerous smaller creeks and 2 Corp of Engineers Lakes.
- Is Richland Chambers a constant level lake?
No, the lake fluctuates with the natural cycle of dry and rainy seasons in North Texas. The average fluctuation is + /- 3.5 feet per year. The lows normally occur in December and January. The lake normally fills in the late winter and spring.
- Does Richland Chambers Flood?
The 315' elevation is full. Tarrant Regional enforces a flood easement up to 320’ elevation. This is also the 'build line'. Richland Chambers is part of a greater flood control area. This area includes 2 Corp of Engineer Lakes, Lake Bardwell to the Northwest on Chambers Creek and Navarro Mills Lake to the west is the headwaters of Richland Creek. These lakes both have 19+ foot flood stages and can ‘hold back’ water as part of the greater flood control area.
- How high does the water get before it goes over the dam?
The dam is 8 miles long and has a 960 foot spillway with 24 gates that release water when necessary into the Trinity River. The dam is an earthen dam with a concrete upstream face and a maximum height of 120’. The top of the dam is 330’ above mean sea level. The water has never gone over the dam.
The spillway is 290’ above mean sea level and is controlled by 24 gates with a top height of 325’ above mean sea level.
- What is the highest Richland Chambers has ever been?
The highest level ever was on October 24, 2015, when the lake was 317.42’ or 2.42’ over full.
- What is the lowest Richland Chambers has ever been?
During the drought of 2004-2006 the lake was 303.59’ or 11.41’ low. The lake then filled and was under normal conditions until the historic drought of 2011-2015 the lake reached almost 10.5’ low during that time.
- So does the lake flood?
The lake has never gone over the flood stage of 320’. Even in the historic rainfall of 2015 the highest the lake reached was 2.42’ over full. Flood Insurance is not required for homes on Richland Chambers.
- I want property where the water doesn’t go away when the lake goes down, what part of the lake is that?
The real question doesn’t have to do with the part of the lake a property is located. The water fluctuates equally on the entire lake. The better question is how deep is the water out in front of a property and how deep is it at my boat house? With the exceptions of the areas at the end of the arms close to the mouths of the creeks, there is good water and not so good water in every subdivision. Water depth can vary greatly from lot to lot on any given shoreline. You need a local person who knows the lake helping you find a piece property.
Building on Richland Chambers Lake
- How close can I build to the water?
That depends on where the 320' line falls on your property. If you are considering purchasing property on Richland Chambers alway be sure you are aware of where the 320' line is on the property.
- Is there a time limit to build?
There are no time limits to build on Richland Chambers. There are several dozen subdivision on the lake and none of them have a time limit in which you have to build. You can go ahead and build your boathouse first, use and enjoy it before you build a home or even if you decide to not build a home.
- Are there building restrictions?
Yes, there are building restrictions. Navarro County has zoned an area covering 5000 ft from the shore of the lake with the "Navarro County Lakeshore Area Improvement Zoning Ordinance". This governs development in the lake area. Also the majority of properties on the lake are in subdivisions and are subject to the subdivisions Deed Restrictions.
- What about a Boat House?
TRWD does allow for boathouse construction. The footprint of your boathouse (size) depends on how much linear feet of shoreline your property has. The formula can be found at: http://trwd.com/RichlandChambers
- How far out can my boathouse go?
It depends on the individual lot. Several factors go into determining how far out you can go including your neighbors boat house (if present), water depth, cove width and others. A local boathouse contractor can help you understand what can be built on a piece of property you may be considering.
- Do I need a retaining wall?
This again depends on the shoreline of individual property as well as your own preferences. Retaining walls on Richland Chambers are constructed from different materials, rip rap, treated timbers, concrete and steel panels. The most common type you will see on Richland Chambers is driven steel panels. Many property owners will then construct a sidewalk running along the top of the wall. This really cleans up your shoreline and also helps prevent erosion and wall failure. Local boathouse contractors also build retainer walls as much of the same equipment is used for boat house construction.
- What is a boat slip lot?
A boat slip lot is a lot in The Shores on Richland Chambers that comes with a lifetime lease for a slip in the Marina at The Shores. The Shores has a private marina adjacent to the clubhouse facilities. Some lot owners purchased a lifetime license for an individual slip when they purchased their lot. Boat Slip Licenses in The Shores Marina can only be held by property owners in The Shores.
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Richland Chambers Lake FAQ's