Pat Mayse Lake in Lamar County Texas

History and Recreation Information

Pat Mayse Lake Map

Pat Mayse Lake
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Grab your fishing rods, swimsuit, load up the family, hook up the boat and come visit us at Pat Mayse Lake! Camping, fishing, swimming, boating and just plain fun! We just know you will enjoy your visit.

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Pat Mayse Lake


  Pat Mayse Lake is located in the Red River Basin in Lamar County, Texas and is managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers. The damsite is approximately one mile south of the town of Chicota, four miles northwest of Powderly and twelve miles north of Paris, Texas.

  Sanders Creek, the source of the lake, rises just south of Tigertown, northwest of Cottonwood, and south of Farm Road 38 in western Lamar County. and runs northeast for six miles before turning sharply east for four miles and then flowing into Pat Mayse Lake. It flows out of the lake's northeastern end near the dam spillway and runs for three miles to its mouth on the Red River, just west of Arthur City. The entire course of the creek is thirty miles long. The surrounding flat to rolling terrain has local scarps and is surfaced by deep loam over dark clay that supports grass and mesquite; the area descends to flood plains near the mouth, where loamy clay supports water-tolerant hardwoods and conifers.

Through Time

  The reservoir is named after A. G. (Pat) Mayse, who was the publisher of The Paris Morning News (later renamed The Paris Evening News and then The Paris News.) from 1929 until his death in 1955. He was also the Texas executive vice president of the Red River Va1ley Association, of which he was a charter member.

  Groundbreaking of the new lake was in October 1964. Mrs. Pat Mayse joined Congressman Wright Patman and U.S. Army Corps of Engineer officials for the groundbreaking. Construction began on March 9, 1965; closure of the embankment occurred on November 29, 1966; and the diversion opening in the outlet works was closed in August 1967. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began impounding water into the newly constructed reservoir and the project was placed in full flood control operation on September 28, 1967. The top of conservation pool was reached on April 20, 1968. The earthfill embankment is 7,080 feet long, excluding the spillway; rises 96 feet above the streambed; and has a top width of 32 feet.

Old Camp Maxey

  Pat Mayse Lake is located on what used to be a part of old Camp Maxey, a WWII military training camp. Parts of the northern edge of Camp Maxey were inundated as water filled the lake. Consequently, Pat Mayse is a formerly used defense site (FUDS) site, and it is still possible for the public to spot old military ordnance items (bazooka rockets, grenades, etc.) while they are recreating.

  DON'T TOUCH ORDNANCE. Just because these items of military ordnance are "old" does not mean they are safe to handle; they are still very dangerous and should never be moved or even touched. If anyone happens to spot any item of old military ordnance, please contact a Park Ranger with the location.


  Easy access to developed park areas makes the lake a place for families who enjoy camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, fishing and other outdoor recreation.

Bird Watching

  The Tailrace Area below the dam has a blind for bird watching. At the north end of the dam is a road that leads down to a parking area. From there you can walk to the blind. Take your binoculars, camera or other viewing equipment.


  Pat Mayse East, Lamar Point and Sanders Cove have designated swim beaches. Pat Mayse West has areas acceptable to swimming. No Life Guards are on duty. Swim at your own risk. None of the beaches are alcohol free.

Fishing, Hunting

  Pat Mayse Lake provides excellent opportunities for fishing and hunting. Sport fish species in the lake include largemouth bass, white crappie, sunfish, striped bass, channel and flathead catfish, and other common fish species. These lands are managed for upland game and whitetail deer and are open to the public as a public hunting area. The game species present include deer, fox squirrel, gray squirrel, bobwhite quail, morning dove, cottontail rabbit, raccoon, and fox. Furbearers such as opossum, beaver, mink, skunk, and nutria are also present.

  The lake also provides resting and feeding habitat for migratory waterfowl. A few miles north of the project area are the famed Red River Bottoms where waterfowl congregate in great numbers.

Current Lake Information

  Current Lake Levels and other data are available here.

Recreation Areas

  Seasonal closings or reduced services may apply during the winter months. For more information, please read the information on locations below or contact the appropriate agency or the park office.

Recreation Area Classes

Class A campgrounds are those having flush restrooms, showers, paved roads, sanitary disposal stations, designated tent or trailer spaces, refuse containers, and potable water.

Class B areas have similar facilities with the exception that flush toilets or showers are not provided.

Class C areas are those having basic sanitary facilities, designated tent or trailer spaces, refuse containers, and potable water.
Locations, Information

Open All Year
The Overlook provides sidewalks, a covered viewing area with benches, and a wheelchair ramp to the sidewalk and paved parking area. No restroom facilities are available.

Tailrace Area
Located below the dam, north on the gravel road off FM 906
Open All Year
Bank access and gravel parking lot
Operated by US Army Corps of Engineers (903) 732-3020

Lamar Point
Open All Year
Class C
Contact (903) 732-3020

Pat Mayse East
Open All Year
Class B
Contact (903) 732-3020

Pat Mayse West
Open All Year
Class A
Contact (903) 732-4956
Pat Mayse West Park has wheelchair accessible restrooms and a courtesy dock with handrails that is available to the physically challenged for fishing. There are currently no campsites that are designed for wheelchair bound campers.

Sanders Cove
Open All Year
Class A
Contact (903) 732-4955
Sanders Cove Park has one courtesy dock with handrails that is available to the physically challenged for boat loading and fishing. There are two wheelchair accessible restrooms.

Camp Kiwanis
Office - 790 North Collegiate Drive (inside Norment & Landers Insurance)
Contact (903) 732-4303
Camp Kiwanis was originally opened by the Corps of Engineers as Forest Point Recreation Area. The 70 acre recreation area consisted of rustic camping sites, vault type restrooms and fresh water only available via a hand pump. After only a few years of limited use, Forest Point was closed to the public and left to deteriorate. In 1989, The Kiwanis Club of Paris was granted permission and a lease to reopen the Forest Point Recreation Area. Camp Kiwanis is open for family reunions, fishing tournaments, scouting trips, and much more.

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