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Located in the Prairies and Lakes region of Texas, lake enthusiasts will find a 3,280 acre, V-shaped reservoir called Aquilla Lake. The lake was formed by an earth fill dam constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The dam has a crest length of 11,890 feet and a top width of 38 feet and was completed in January of 1983 as part of an overall flood control project in the Brazos River basin. The primary inflows are Aquilla Creek and Hackberry Creek. The primary outflow is Aquilla Creek. The lake serves as a major source of drinking water for the area as well as for flood control and recreation purposes. The US Army Corps of Engineers owns and continues to maintain the dam.
Fishing is very popular on Aquilla Lake. When the lake was built, the US Army Corps of Engineers listened to local fishing clubs. Following those suggestions, they left a lot of natural timber standing in the lake and cleared the basin around the dam only. Vegetation that was cut down was piled up, creating many brush piles in the lake. The ample cover along with stained water means plenty of bass for anglers. Largemouth bass and white bass fishing can be excellent on Aquilla Lake. Crappie can be found on submerged brush piles and around large isolated trees. Trotlines set around shallow, brushy areas are perfect for blue and channel catfish. There are three public boat ramps located on the shores of Aquilla Lake which have restrooms and abundant parking. A free public fishing pier is located below the dam.
The lake is part of the Aquilla Lake Wildlife Management Area. In addition to boating, fishing and water sports, visitors can enjoy bird watching, hunting, nature study, and other wildlife viewing. With secluded coves and exposed vegetation, the area draws various types of birds and waterfowl including quail, doves, mallard and wood ducks, gadwalls, pintails, widgeons and shovelers. Hunting regulations are liberal in the area. Turkey hunting is allowed during the spring season along with hunting of feral hog, waterfowl, quail and small animals at other times throughout the year.
Aquilla Lake represents one of the major efforts by the state to reduce atrazine contamination in Texas. Atrazine is a chemical agent widely used for more than 25 years as an herbicide in agriculture for corn and grain sorghum production and on urban lawns and golf courses. The lake is considered a success story, as a combination of efforts has led to a drastic reduction in levels of contaminate in this lake.
Aquilla Lake and the surrounding area have a lot to offer visitors and makes for an economical getaway. There is no entrance fee for the park, and no fee for lake access. The lake is located 10 miles from the small town of Aquilla and is an hour and a half drive from Dallas and airport service.
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