Panhandle Plains
Lake J.B. Thomas
Lake J.B. Thomas Information:
The 7,282 surface acre Lake J.B. Thomas was impounded on the Colorado River in 1952. The maximum lake depth is 61 feet. At that time, it was one of the few lakes in West Texas. For the first 20 years, Lake Thomas was a booming community featuring three concessions, hundreds of lakeside cabins, and a resident physician. The lake was near full for most of those decades. It flooded three times, with the last flood occurring in 1962. The area was in a drought by 1970. Since the drought the lake has rarely been above half full, but even at very low levels, it covers a significant amount of surface acreage, making it very popular with area fishermen. Predominate fish species include largemouth bass, white bass, channel, flathead and blue catfish, and white crappie; lake maps are not available. Four parks are located on the lake. South Side Park’s boat ramp is accessible even at very low lake levels. The boat ramps at South Side, Rocky Point and Sandy Beach remain open regardless of lake levels. White Island and Bull Creek parks are closed during low water levels. Camping facilities, picnic areas and restrooms are located on the southeast shore of the lake off FM 1298. Day, annual or senior vehicle permits are required. The lake and parks are managed by the Colorado Municipal Water District. (432) 267-6341.The lake is located 10 miles southwest of Snyder, Texas on FM 1298..
Lake J.B. Thomas Location Map 
Current Lake J.B. Thomas Lake Level  
Lake J.B. Thomas Lake Access Permits
Lake J.B. Thomas TPWD Public Access Facilities Map
Colorado River:
The Colorado River is the largest of the rivers that exist wholly in Texas. The river rises in intermittent draws in northeastern Dawson County and flows generally southeastward for 600 miles before it bends to the east across southern Burnet County and continues its southeastern course across Travis, Bastrop, Payette, Colorado, Wharton, and Matagorda Counties to its mouth on Matagorda Bay near Palacios, Texas. Major towns on its route include Austin, Lamesa, Colorado City, Robert Lee, Ballinger, Paint Rock, Marble Falls, Bastrop, Smithville, La Grange, Columbus, Wharton, Bay City and Matagorda. Important reservoirs (lakes) on the Colorado include Lake J.B. Thomas, E.V. Spence Reservoir, Buchanan Lake, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake) in Austin; the latter 7 lakes are known as the Highland Lakes. Early in the 19th century the river’s slow current caused the formation of a raft, or a log jam, which gradually grew upstream so that the river was navigable in 1839 for only ten miles above its mouth. By 1858 the situation in Matagorda and Wharton counties had become so bad that the state appropriated funds for the construction of a new channel around the raft; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the channel in the mid-1800s, but it was not maintained so the raft filled it up. After the Civil War the Colorado ceased to be a factor in transportation. The delta that developed after removal of the log jam in 1925, reached across Matagorda Bay as far as Matagorda Peninsula by 1936. In 1936 a channel was dredged through the new delta from the Gulf of Mexico to the town of Matagorda, thus forcing the river to deposit its flotsam and sediment directly into the Gulf. With the removal of the raft, the seaport town of Matagorda gradually became landlocked. The present Caney Creek channel was the original channel of the Colorado River until approximately a thousand years ago. The Lower, Central, and Upper Colorado River Authorities are the three agencies that oversee the conservation of and use of the Colorado River.  Colorado River Fish Stocking History
Lake J.B. Thomas Directions:
The lake is located approximately 15 miles northeast of Big Spring (west of SH 350), and 10 miles southwest of Snyder, Texas off FM 1298.