Lake O' The Pines (Cypress River Basin)

Sunset at Lake O' The Pines (Photo by Freese and Nichols, Inc.)Lake O' The Pines (also known as Ferrell's Bridge Dam) is located about eight miles west of the City of Jefferson in Marion County, on Big Cypress Bayou.  The Lake probably got its name due to its location in the central area of Piney Woods region.  The Dam and Lake was built, and is owned and operated, by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The dam consists of approximately four million cubic yards of rolled earth embankment and is about 10,600 feet in length, with a maximum height of about 77 feet above the original streambed.  An uncontrolled concrete spillway, 200 feet in width, is located at the east end of the dam.  Construction began in 1955 and the lake was placed into operation in 1959.  The reservoir was created as part of the overall plan for flood control in the Red River Basin below Denison Dam in Oklahoma.  The project was authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1946.  Additional purposes of both recreation and water supply were added during construction.  The bayou has a length of 140 miles and a total drainage area of 850 square miles.  Lake provides water supply storage for the Northeast Texas Municipal Water District which serves the cities of Jefferson, Ore City, Lone Star, Avinger, Hughes Springs, Daingerfield, and most recently Longview.  The water supply storage exists in the conservation pool between elevations 201 feet and 230 feet above mean sea level.  Water intake structures are located at various points on the lake and one downstream of the lake.  Discharges from the two gates in the control structure located on the southeast end vary from a minimum of 5 cubic feet per second to a maximum of 3,000 cubic feet per second. The top of the dam is at elevation, 277 feet above mean sea level, while the maximum design water surface can reach to 269.9 feet above mean sea level. At top of flood control pool (crest of uncontrolled emergence spillway), elevation 249.5 feet above mean sea level, the lake will cover 38,200 acres and store 842,100 acre feet of water. The lake's normal conservation pool is 228.5 feet above mean sea level. At this elevation, the lake can store 241,363 acre-feet of water encompassing a surface area of 17,638 acres.

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