Panhandle Plains
Mackenzie Reservoir
Mackenzie Reservoir Information:
The 896 surface acre lake was impounded in 1974 on Tule Creek, a tributary of the Prairie Dog Fork of the Red River. It was created as a water source for Floydada, Lockney, Silverton and Tulia, Texas. It has a maximum depth of 150 feet. In May, 2008, the first of 5 skeletons of the Equus Scotti, an extinct horse from the Pleistocene era, were discovered on the lake property. The Equus Scotti and other fossils are on display at the lake marina, Mackenzie Bait & Tackle. One of the most beautiful aspects of the lake area is the stunning views of the Tule and Palo Duro Canyons offered on the drive to the lake recreation area. The lake area is closely tied to early Texas history. Colonel Mackenzie and his 4th U.S. Calvary camped in this area before their winning battle against the Comanche in Palo Duro Canyon, ending the Comanche Indian war against the settlers. Fishing, camping, water activities, and ATV and bike riding are favorite lake activities. A large metal art cutout of a horse and cowboy is located on the top of a knoll. The artwork was provided by Sybil & Neilson King, former long term RV camp residents. The lake is operated by the Mackenzie Municipal Water Authority. Lake Mackenzie is located 12 miles northwest of Silverton, and 27 miles east of Tulia, Texas on the west side of SH 207. Lake Mackenzie Facilities Map  TPWD Public Access Facilities Map 
Tule Creek:
The three creek branches are the North, Middle, and South Draws. The North and Middle rise in northeastern Castro County and flow parallel to each other in an east direction for 26 miles to their juncture three miles east of Tulia, Texas. The South Tule Draw rises in Castro County near Nazareth, and flows east to join the main stream. The main Tule Creek Draw then flows through the Tule Canyon to north central Briscoe County where the canyon merges with Palo Duro Canyon and where Tule Creek merges with the Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River. Tule Canyon, though smaller than the Palo Duro Canyon, is known for its beautiful red walls and formations.
Archeological Sites at Mackenzie Reservoir:
In 1997 Rick Day, an Andrews ISD teacher, discovered and unearthed a fossilized ancient crocodile like creature. The fossil is believed to be that of a Phytosaur. News Article
Lake Information:
Current Mackenzie Reservoir Lake Level
Mackenzie Reservoir Facilities Map & Boating Rules
Mackenzie Reservoir TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
ATV Off Highway Vehicle Permit
ATV Trails Map
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Donations
Facilities Overview:
Facilities include Mackenzie Bait & Tackle Marina, indoor boat storage, a crappie house, 2 boat ramps (Boat Ramp #1 and Boat Ramp #2), the Rotary Park playground (next to the picnic shelter), 36 campsites, and an all-terrain vehicle area. Check with the Marina for current lake level information. When water levels are particularly low, the boat ramps may be closed, and water skiing, tubing, wake boarding, and personal watercraft may be prohibited. The ADA compliant crappie house is located adjacent Boat Ramp #2. A daily fee applies for those between the ages of 13 and 64. No fees are charged for those with physical challenges or those 65 or older. The onsite boat storage building has 40 individual dry boat storage units (garages) for rent on an annual basis. Twenty of the units measure 12 feet wide with 10 foot doors, and are approximately 25 feet long. The other twenty are approximately 30 feet long. A waiting list is maintained at the Mackenzie Bait & Tackle shop. Restrooms with cold showers are located south of the Marina. Restrooms with hot showers are located in the ATV area. Restrooms without showers are located near the large picnics pavilion and Rotary Park areas. Picnic pavilion amenities include two RV hookups, and water. Church groups and Boy Scout groups from the four member cities (Floydada, Lockney, Silverton, and Tulia) may use the pavilion for free; other groups pay a fee. The reservable cabin features 3 sleeping rooms with 1 queen and 2 full beds, bed linens (not towels), a refrigerator, coffee maker, microwave, A/C and heat, and an outdoor BBQ grill. The 36 primitive tent and RV campsites have BBQ grills; some have water. Some of these sites are located in the ATV area. The 25 RV campsites feature a sheltered picnic table, BBQ grills, and water and electric hookups, and some have cement pads. Some RV sites are located on a bluff overlooking the lake, and some are located in the ATV area. Camping fees apply to all sites. All lake facilities reservations are made at Lake Mackenzie Bait & Tackle. All lake visitors must check in at the Mackenzie Bait & Tackle (marina) to purchase necessary permits for all planned lake activities; costs are determined by activities. All reservations are also made at the marina. (806) 633-4335.
Lake Mackenzie Bait & Tackle Marina:
The marina is located on the south side of the lake. It sells bait (minnows, worms, liver, shrimp and other bait) and tackle, groceries, charcoal and lighter fluid, ice, gasoline and oil, fishing licenses and lake permits. A mini-deli features booths, and serves sandwiches, chips, ice cream and soft drinks. Restrooms with cold showers are located nearby. A fossil of an Equus Scotti, an extinct horse, and other fossils are on display in the shop. Open daily, 8am-8pm; extended hours may apply on Friday and Saturdays. (806) 633-4335. The marina address is 9117 SH 207, Silverton, Texas. Email
ATV & Mountain Biking Area:
This area features 35 miles of dirt trails or crushed rock trails for ATV, dirt bike, and mountain bike use. This track is considered to be one of the best in Texas. Some camping sites are available. Restrooms with warm showers are located near the park entrance, about a mile from the riding area. Covered picnic areas and a parking area are available. Call the Mackenzie Bait & Tackle for information and trail conditions, and to purchase day use permits. ATV use is allowed from 8am to sundown each day; an Off Highway Vehicle Permit is required. The Lake Mackenzie Recreation Area was selected by the Quad Off-Road Magazine as the top ATV camping site in Texas, and as one of the top ten ATV camping sites in the nation. Once you enter the park from SH 207, proceed to your left across the dam; after crossing the dam, follow the signs to the ATV area.
Birding - Texas Panhandle Plains Birding Trail:
Canyon Loop:  Canyon, Tulia, Amarillo, Silverton, Quitaque
Bird Checklist for High Plains & Rolling Plains of Texas
Briscoe County Bird Checklist with Photos
Buffalo Lake NWR Bird Checklist, Canyon
Palo Duro Canyon Area Bird Checklist, Canyon
Fishing Lake Mackenzie:
Predominant fish species include largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, white crappie, and channel, flathead and blue catfish. Largemouth bass are the most popular species in the reservoir. Most of the bass in the reservoir will be around 2-4 pounds with an occasional larger fish. Crappie is abundant in Mackenzie Reservoir. Current Survey Report  Lake Records  Fish Stocking History  Current Fishing Report  Fishing Information
ShareLunker Program, Largemouth Bass:
The ShareLunker program began in 1986 as a way to improve Texas’ largemouth bass population by selectively breeding trophy fish. It is limited to largemouth bass weighing 13 pounds or more. Fish must be weighted on certified or legal for trade scales. Possession of the live fish must be transferred to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department representative within 12 hours after capture. Since the program’s inception, more than 400 largemouth bass have been donated from 55 public reservoirs and more than a dozen private lakes. As the program grew it became apparent that a new fish hatchery that was specifically tailored to the program was needed. Specifications called for the facility to be built within 50 miles of Lake Fork, because the majority of big fish are caught there. In 1998 the Edwin L. Cox, Jr., Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center in Athens, Texas was completed. Call (903) 681-0550. 24 hour pager: 1-888-784-0600. Rules for Certified Hand Held Scales
Learn to Camp at Texas Parks & Wildlife State Parks' Outdoor Family Camping Workshops:
Theseworkshops are family camping sessions designed to teach camping skills to those who do not know how to camp; everything is provided from tent to broom. Gear includes a coffee pot, dishes, cooking pots, a camp stove, a battery operated fan and lantern, air mattresses, and a tent. Basic skills taught include pitching a tent, making a campfire, cooking on a propane camp stove, geocaching and using a GPS. Wildlife viewing, fishing and kayaking are available depending on the park and its facilities. After making reservations, families will be sent a packet of information which includes a grocery list. Those interested in this program may sign up for E-Mail Updateson Currently Scheduled Workshops. (512) 389-8903. Calendar