Medina Lake

Coordinates: 29°32′25″N 98°56′01″W / 29.54028°N 98.93361°W / 29.54028; -98.93361
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Medina Lake
Medina Lake
Location of Medina Lake in Texas, USA.
Location of Medina Lake in Texas, USA.
Medina Lake
Location of Medina Lake in Texas, USA.
Location of Medina Lake in Texas, USA.
Medina Lake
LocationBandera / Medina counties, Texas, US
Coordinates29°32′25″N 98°56′01″W / 29.54028°N 98.93361°W / 29.54028; -98.93361
Lake typeAgricultural reservoir
Primary inflowsMedina River
Primary outflowsMedina River
Basin countriesUnited States
Surface area6,060 acres (2,450 ha)
Max. depth152 ft (46 m)
Shore length1110 mi (180 km)
Surface elevation1,062 ft (324 m)
1 Shore length is not a well-defined measure.

Medina Lake is a reservoir on the Medina River in the Texas Hill Country of the United States. It is operated by the Bexar/Medina/Atascosa County Agricultural District. Medina Dam was completed in 1913 in a privately financed project, creating the lake to supply irrigation water for local agricultural use. Lake Medina is in northeastern Medina County and southeastern Bandera County, about 40 miles (64 km) northwest of San Antonio.

It is a crescent-shaped reservoir running west to east. It is 18 miles (29 km) long and 3 miles (5 km) wide at its broadest point. It is contained by the Medina Dam at the lake's south end. At the time of the dam's construction, it was the largest concrete dam in the country and the fourth largest dam overall. The dam is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The lake is fed by and discharges back into the Medina River, and serves both recreational and irrigation uses. Communities located along the lake are Mico, Lake Medina Shores and Lakehills.

Fish populations[edit]

Medina Lake has been stocked with species of fish intended to improve the reservoir for recreational fishing. Fish in Medina Lake include largemouth bass, white bass, hybrid striped bass, catfish, and carp. Due to drought conditions lasting up until July 2015, recreational fish species had disappeared. Plans to restock the lake once levels reach viable levels were put in place. These plans were realized when the lake did reach these levels, which as of October 2, 2016, is 96.6% full.[1][2]

Future and state of the lake[edit]

As part of the 2010–13 Southern United States drought, the lake water levels dropped below 5% capacity.[3] Many cracks, oil drums and a Jeep were visible as a result of low water.[4] Only one public boat ramp remained, located at Red Cove in Mico.[5] A few showers in the Summer of 2013 helped the lake rise to 5.2%, but the dam was reopened in September as many people in the South Side of San Antonio use the lake for a water source. Many businesses have closed in the area, many residents have left and Lakehills has become somewhat of a ghost town.[6][7]

Heavy rainfall in the region as of May, 2015 brought the levels above 46% capacity. At that time, Medina Lake was about 28 feet low, down from 90 feet low mere months before.[8]

Due to heavy rains on the Medina River basin and the lake itself in May 2016, Medina Lake was 100% full and 1.5 feet above its conservation pool as of June 1, 2016.[9]

As of July 2023, Medina Lake was the lowest it’s been since 2015, only being filled to about 5% capacity, compared to last years 12% capacity, This is due to constant drought and irrigation as many experts claim it may take years of rain to replenish the reservoir. [10]


  1. ^ "Medina Lake's rich fishing history now only a memory". KSAT ABC 12. Archived from the original on August 9, 2015. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  2. ^ "Water Data for Texas".
  3. ^ "Medina Lake". Water Data for Texas. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  4. ^ "Rainfall barely can slow decline of Medina Lake". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  5. ^ "Medina Lake nears 1968 record low". Bandera Bulletin. Archived from the original on March 5, 2015. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  6. ^ "Residents on edge as Medina Lake evaporates". San Antonio Express News. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Lakehills 'a ghost town': Is Medina Lake fish kill imminent". Kens 5 San Antonio. Archived from the original on January 4, 2014. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  8. ^ "Medina Lake". Water Data for Texas. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  9. ^ "Medina Lake". Water Data for Texas. Retrieved June 3, 2016.
  10. ^ "Medina Lake". Water Data for Texas. Retrieved July 16, 2023.