Bois D Arc Information

Bois d Arc Lake is in the process of impoundment in 2021. It is located north of Leonard, Texas, and northeast of Bonham, Texas, in Fannin County. Bois d Arc Lake is owned and operated by North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). It will cover 16,641 acres with an average depth of 22 feet and a maximum depth of 70 feet. NTMWD is in the process of building three boat ramps and planning parks and recreational areas. Bois d Arc Lake is scheduled to be open for business sometime in 2022. 

Bois d Arc Lake is the first major reservoir built in Texas in nearly 30 years. After 15 years of planning and permitting, construction began in May 2018 on Bois d Arc Creek, a major tributary of the Red River. The lake will provide the water needed to serve a growing population of 1.8 million north Texans. Its dam is 90 feet tall and 2 miles long. The total costs of Bois d Arc Lake and its related projects are $1.6 billion. 

How do you pronounce “Bois d Arc”?

Bois d Arc is pronounced “bo-dark”. 

Across North Texas there are several instances of the name “Bois d Arc” used to name geological features. They originate from the Bois d Arc tree, which people often call a “horse apple tree” for the baseball-sized yellow fruit that the tree produces.

Real Estate Policies at Bois d Arc Lake 

NTMWD is working with Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) to establish fisheries for preferable game fish species in selected existing ponds owned by the District. TPWD is helping to establish suitable fish habitats in the lake and will include anchored brush piles. TPWD will lead the effort to stock the ponds with fish. Current plans call for stocking Bois d Arc Lake with catfish, crappie largemouth bass, and sunfish.

The North Texas Municipal Water District will not sell residential lots on Bois d Arc Lake. Any available land for sale will be sold by current property owners. Check with licensed realtors in Fannin County or Bonham to see properties which are available.

Most public works projects require the purchase of private land. About 86% of the land needed for the project has been purchased from willing sellers. NTMWD strives to work cooperatively with property owners and compensate them fairly based on market values when purchasing property or an easement. Eminent domain will only be used as a last resort. 

If relocation is necessary, tenants are entitled to relocation assistance. If an agreement is reached on an easement, NTMWD will send the property owner a check within ten days of getting the easement approved. If an agreement is reached on a purchase, the title company will provide the check at closing.

NTMWD plans to assess the amount of any surplus property around the lake in 2022, after the Bois d Arc Lake project is completed. Any land sales have to undergo NTMWD's policy for surplus property. This would require authorization by the NTMWD Board, which typically calls for public bidding on all properties available for sale.

Road and Bridge Construction at Bois d Arc Lake 

NTMWD has worked closely with the Fannin County commissioners to identify the best routes for construction traffic. Construction for this purpose is expected to include:

  • Extending FM 897 from Highway 82 north through Lannius to FM 1396. A portion of FM 1396 will be closed once the FM 897 extension is complete.
  • Building a new, 1.3-mile bridge on FM 897 over the lake to allow for north-south access.
  • Adjusting or improving Fannin County roads around the lake.
  • This work has begun and will continue. NTMWD will notify local media of road closures and will post that information on their website.

NTMWD is compensating Fannin County nearly $1.9 million over 10 years for any potential impacts of construction to county roads, and building a road maintenance facility that Fannin County will own and operate.

Environmental Impact of Constructing Bois d Arc Lake </hr/>

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers led the federal Environmental Impact Statement for Bois d Arc Lake, thoroughly studied potential environmental impacts, and approved a mitigation plan to address them. Trees and other vegetation in the reservoir basin were removed during construction. NTMWD is mitigating more than 17,000 acres of land, planting approximately five million trees, and making nearly 70 miles of stream improvements. 

The Leonard Water Treatment Plant

The Leonard Water Treatment Plant will be located on approximately 1,000 acres just west of the city of Leonard on County Road 4965. Construction started in fall of 2018, and includes a 210-million-gallon terminal storage reservoir and a high service pump station initially capable of pumping 90 million gallons daily (MGD).

Bois d Arc Lake Shoreline Management Plan

There are five shoreline classifications on Bois d Arc Lake:

  • Limited Development: No boat dock development allowed; vegetation modification allowed.
  • Dock Capable Shoreline: Potentially suitable for boating access and dock development, site visits confirm eligibility.
  • Restricted: Potentially suitable for boating access and dock development, site visits confirm eligibility.
  • Environmentally Sensitive: Shoreline closed to public access for protection of environmental resources, e.g. littoral wetlands, a narrow or broad fringing wetland.
  • Public Lake Access/Limited Commercial Development: Three public boat ramp locations, potential commercial development.

The goals of the Bois d Arc Lake SMP are to:

  • Protect water quality
  • Safeguard wildlife and environmentally sensitive areas
  • Minimize shoreline erosion
  • Promote public safety
  • Encourage safe public recreation
  • Allow for private docks, other lakefront uses, and lake access

Bois D Arc Email Updates


Bois D Arc Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Bois D Arc Weather Forecast


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 96

Saturday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 75



Hi: 99

Sunday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 75



Hi: 100

Monday Night

Mostly Clear

Lo: 78



Hi: 100

Tuesday Night

Slight Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 79

Bois D Arc Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 10/5: 614.68 (-2.32)