Let the Sailingyes tell you what are the sailing, boating, and fishing codes in Lake Ray Roberts, Texas. We’ve provided a guide that will allow you to get to know the area and plan your trip accordingly. We have a list of the best public facilities, eateries, and campsites as well as a guide on visiting the Lake Ray Roberts State Park!
Lake Ray Roberts in Texas – Activities, Codes, and More!
- General Information
- The Trendiest On-Water and in-Land Activities
- Best Season of Sailing on Lake Ray Roberts
- Boating and Sailing Codes
- Fishing Opportunities and Tips
- Regulations and Limitations for Anglers
- Fishing Tips
- Best Spots for Finding Scholars of Fish on Lake Ray Roberts
- The Guide to Visiting Lake Ray Roberts State Park
- 7 Public Access Facilities in Lake Ray Roberts
- Top Campsites in the Area
- Marinas in the Area
- Top 3 Eateries/Restaurants Near the Lake Ray Roberts
This is a Corps lake, which means that there are no houses or businesses built on the lake… It’s just a peaceful place to be. And yes, in this article of Sailingyes, we’re going to cover everything about Lake Ray Roberts!
Full name: Lake Ray Roberts, formerly called Ray Roberts Lake. It’s named after a local congressperson who supported the creation of the lake.
Location: Denton, Cooke, Grayson counties, Texas
Coordinates: 33°21′53″N 97°03′05″W
Establishment year: 1945, after the U.S. Congress approved the River & Harbors Act
Purpose: Supplying water to Cooke, Grayson, and Denton counties and recreation
Surface area: 29,350 acres
Current water level: 632.35 Feet MSL
2019 highest water level: 637.71 Feet MSL (May 30)
2019 lowest water level: 632.44 Feet MSL (April 11)
The Trendiest On-Water and in-Land Activities
- recreation and tent camping: There are nearly 8 well-kept campgrounds near the lake that visitors/boaters can choose for an overnight stay. (See below). The entry fee for most of them is $7 per adult. However, you better check the prices in advance as there might be slight pricing differences.
- fishing: Right now, the stocking programs of TWPD are paying off and there are 5 species found effortlessly in the lake. (Largemouth Bass, Catfish, and Crappie just to name a few). There’s also one park near Lake Ray Roberts where you can angle for free—with no need for any sort of license. (See below).
- horseback riding: The equestrian trails in Lake Ray Roberts State Park are an ideal path for riding horses. The park has created a natural rustic environment for horse lovers to enjoy themselves riding near the calm waters of the lake.
- hiking: This is a place with several hiking/climbing paths. All you need to do is to find the right one utilizing TWPD maps, pack up your stuff, and head off.
- deer watching: Thanks to the active wildlife of the district, it’s not hard to encounter the deer. They are almost everywhere in the area. So, many people stop by just to get a chance of watching them living their normal lives.
- Swimming: You may not need to be reminded of this one as you’ll have it on the to-do lists. However, we’d like to restate that the water is almost always crystal-clear and inviting for swimming fans. Just make sure to have life vests when there are kids in the water.
Best Season of Sailing on Lake Ray Roberts
Sailing and boating season usually starts from early June to mid-September. That’s because the temperature during these months drops to 70 °F (on average), allowing the visitors to enjoy summertime doings.
However, below you can find a detailed weather report based on factors that influence your sailing/boating or cruising experience.
The warmest month of the year is July, 96°F. June and September are also among the hottest periods with an average temperature of 88°F.
The coolest months in this district are November, December, January, February. The lowest temperature during this cycle is 35°F (Jan 6) while the highest one being 63°F (Nov 25 & Feb 24).
The average temperature should help you get your head around the idea of what to pack. However, if you are still confused, read our guide on Packing for a Sailing Trip on Hot and Cold Days.
One of the reasons why sailing on Ray Robert Lake is popular is having 7.3 windy months each year. The cycle of blowy days starts from October and lasts until early June. The mid-core airstream speed during these days is approximately 10.0 miles per hour.
However, if you’re willing to operate a windblown craft on the lake, March, April, and May own the windiest days. The windiest day of the year is April 2 with approximate 12.0 mph wind speed.
Skippers usually prefer daytime navigating over nighttime activities. That’s because being able to observe the surrounding area is a primary success key in navigation. So, that’s why you might want to know which days of the year offer the longest sun presence in this district.
Thru June, you get to have the longest daytimes, 14h per day. So, planning a cruise or sail in this month is the ideal option for sun lovers. However, the shortest days are in November and December—9 hours (approximately).
According to Weather Spark, there are some cycles in which the humidity and temperature of this reservoir are very close to “comfortable.”
In the jargon of meteorology, humidity comfort level is a scale of 0-100% with the highest number being the most relaxing condition.
Lake Ray Roberts’ humidity comfort level reaches 83% for 3 months starting from June and ending in August. So, opt to go to Texas in this cycle to avoid struggling with intolerable oppressive or muggy conditions.
Clouds are another reason why sailing on Lake Ray Roberts is well-liked. There are almost 5.5 months with a clear sky each year. The clearest time is October; however, you can enjoy navigating underneath the perfect sky from late-May to early-November.
According to Weather Spark, the clearest day of the year is the 5th of October. On this day, the sky is clear 74% of the time.
April through May and early January is the rainiest phase of time each year. Thru these months the chance of having a rainy day is nearly 30-40%. May eventually tops the list of average rainfall with getting 4.4 inches of precipitation each year.
However, the driest months in Lake Ray Roberts are June, July, August, and early-September. This is when the middling rainfall drops to 1.6 inches.
Boating and Sailing Codes
- Everyone on the deck must wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device)
- Kids who are 13 or younger may take the PFD off when the vessel is not navigating. However, wearing the PFD is compulsory to everyone else regardless of the boat position and state.
- Vessels that are 16 feet or larger must carry a Type IV (throwable) PFD. Kayaks and canoes having one skipper are exempted from this rule.
- All the boats who will be navigating through the night must have Sidelights, Stern Light, Masthead Light, and All-Round White Light.
- Everyone born on or after August 31, 1993, must have a TWPD-approved Boater Safety license
- Skippers of over 14-feet windblown crafts, PWCs, and vessels over 15 hours power must have this license.
- Skippering on private waters doesn’t require any sort of license.
- If there’s at least one TWPD-approved certified adult (18 or older) on the deck, the navigator is automatically exempted from the rule.
- Boaters who have a TWPD-approved license issued in another state may skipper a craft in Texas as well.
Skippering Age Limit
- Solo navigation for those who are 13 or younger is illegal. However, if the boater (13 or older) owns a Boater Safety license, they can navigate a vessel on Texas public waters on their own.
- If there’s an adult on the deck who is exempted from the license law, the current skipper (of any age) is exempted too.
Vessel Size & Capacity
- Vessels larger than 16 feet should have a throwable PFD.
- You can determine the length of your boat by measuring the distance between the bow and stern, or by checking the boat’s documentation.
- A Vessel’s capacity is indicated by a number usually typed on a plate attached to the back end of the watercraft.
- Having excessive passengers or carrying extra weight is illegal on Lake Ray Roberts. And the overseer of such a boat will face punishment.
- Any craft that is navigating on Lake Ray Roberts must have a Texas Certificate of Number (aka registration card). This is a serial number that must be printed on both sides of the bow after being obtained.
- Sailboats under 14 feet and non-motorized vessels such as kayaks, canoes, rowboats, and rubber rafts are exempted from this rule.
- Crafts owning a registration card of another state can navigate on Lake Ray Roberts—unless they will stay in the area for more than 90 days.
All the navigating crafts on Lake Ray Roberts in Texas should follow the navigation rules. These are the sets of regulations helping the skippers to understand what to do when encountering another watercraft.
Fishing Opportunities and Tips
TWPD has stocked 5 species in the lake to increase the chances for amateur and professional anglers. Right now, 3 of these 5 are believed to be found effortlessly while the other 2 types are categorized as “good” regarding the quantity. Below you can find more specific information about these fishes.
Most Common Fish Types in the Lake
According to TWPD, anglers may except catching Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Channel Catfish, Crappie, and Sunfish.
The table below shows the quantity of each fish type in Lake Ray Roberts.
Note: all the info included in this table is according to the latest TWPD report.
Regulations and Limitations for Anglers
All anglers on Lake Ray Roberts must follow the Freshwater Bag and Length Limits rule. This will help the Texas Wildlife & Parks Department to control the fishing activities in the area, stopping extreme angling.
The following table shows the maximum number of fishes one can carry on this Lake.
|Species||Daily Bag||Minimum Length|
|Largemouth Bass||5 fish (for any combination)||14 inches|
The largemouth is a species that is more likely to get caught up in Spring and Fall. When the weather gets cold in the area, you’re better off with any sort of bait but a jig or jig & pig grouping. Plus, the best zone to find this fish type is around deeply submerged points.
Head for the man flats between feeder creeks in the Isle du Bois Creek arm when the weather is getting warmer in spring. This is where you can find a scholar of fish effortlessly and start angling effortlessly. But bear in mind that jigs are not a common choice in this season. Fishers usually prefer to utilize Carolina rigged worm or lizard.
White bass is everywhere in the river. You just need to buy some surface baits, jigs, spoons, or minnows to catch them instantly.
Channel catfish love cut bait, shrimp, or stink bait while you can utilize a myriad of jigs and minnows for Crappies. Bear in mind that Crappie is an easy-catch in the winter when they school deep and around structures or during the spring when they come in to spawn.
Live earthworms are the favorite lure for Sunfish.
Best Spots for Finding Scholars of Fish on Lake Ray Roberts
- standing timbers in the upper reaches of both major arms
- the rip-rap along the dam at the south end of the main pool
- stream channels
- flooded main-lake points
- inundated pond dams
- flooded rocks/boulders/stumps
- 44 inundated brush piles constructed before impoundment
The Guide to Visiting Lake Ray Roberts State Park
Go Geocaching or Rollerblade
If you’re looking for an exciting way of having fun in nature, geocaching most top your list. This is a game that allows you to start a treasure hunt while hiking in the Lake Ray Roberts State Park.
People have hidden several items in the park so that you can find them. Of course, you don’t get to discover pricy stuff in each box as there are only small inexpensive objects. However, “finding” is the fun part regardless of the result.
You better bring some small objects to exchange with the stuff in the boxes. Plus, have a pen in your pocket to sign the logbook, showing off others that you’ve been here before them.
Geocaching.com is a website that has the coordinates of every hidden box in Texas. So, you can check their inventory, search for the Lake Ray Roberts State Park information, and download some coordinates to your GPS.
Enjoy On-Water Activities at Beach Areas
Go for paddling or swimming on a hot day in Texas because the water is always chilly and inviting. But in case you don’t like to get wet, just wet a hook. The kids’ angling pond is where you can spend some quality time with your family and fish.
However, bear in mind that there are no lifeguards in the area. So, do not let minors to swim on their own unless you’re monitoring them precisely. Most importantly, have life vests for kids and ask people to wear a PFD if they don’t know how to swim.
Note: you can fish from the shore or a pier in a state park without a fishing license.
Hold a Group Event
Group events are a great idea to bond with friends, coworkers, etc. In Lake Ray Roberts State Park, you can find group walk-in campsites and lake-overlooking picnic pavilions. Moreover, you can hold conferences in meeting rooms at Lone Star Lodge.
Explore the Trails
From the Ray Roberts Dam to Lake Lewisville, along the Elm Fork Branch of the Trinity River, there’s a 20-mile trail called Greenbelt Corridor. This is one of the most popular paths in the park offering some of the greatest views, landmarks, and landscapes.
12 miles of this trail is available for horse riders while a 10-mile section is devoted to hikers. For more trails, head to Johnson Branch or Isle du Bois where you can find some versatile paths as well.
Bear in mind that using these trails requires some obedience to ethical principles and local codes. The following is a list of accepted behavior and expected actions in the park.
- First things first, never leave a trace. You’re responsible for what you bring in and take away.
- For guaranteed safety, you must stay on the trails. Leaving the trails for adventure may result in major threats for you and your companions. So, if you’re the head of a group, keep everyone on the trail for their wellbeing.
- Do not ride a horse solo. Horse riding is sometimes more hazardous than it seems to be. So, have a companion with you and/or ride in groups for more safety. Plus, never forget to wear a helmet when on the back of a horse. This is a must as falling off the horse can be a fatal accident without a helmet.
- Remember, according to the codes, all users must yield to handicapped users.
- If you’re a cyclist, do not pass other not-cyclists in a hazardous way. Try to reduce your speed and pass them slowly—to prevent any unwanted incidents.
- Hikers and cyclists should always yield to horses and make their presence known well in advance, then move aside to allow horses to pass, if passing from the opposite direction. When passing horses from behind, hikers and bikers should pass on the left after making the rider aware of their presence.
- Pets can be on the trails but must be under control and on a leash at all times.
Attend a Ranger Program
Rangers oversee several events in the park and you can ask them to arrange a guided nature hike and for group programs at their outdoor classroom. Some of the current programs offered by Rangers are:
- Isle du Bois Unit | Two Night Event: during this 2-night event, the park will provide you with a basic camping package that includes: a tent for 6 people, lanterns, stoves and fuel, coffee press, pots, fry pan, and cooking utensils, cots and 4 foam pads, and equipment necessary for all activities.
You are responsible for bringing any extra stuff that you need. However, the Rangers have provided a checklist to land a hand with packing.
The cost is $95 per family (up to 6 individuals) which includes all park entry and camping fees. But be aware that the Rangers will not provide you with meals—you’re in charge of the food for your group. Plus, keep in mind that the pets cannot join you in this event.
Extra activities on this trip include Tent setup demonstration, Kayaking, Fishing, Geocaching, Fire building, Sounds of the night presentation, Junior Ranger journal.
- Pond Dipping: during this event, you’ll see what’s going on under the water surface as the experts will poll a dip net out of it. This program is best for kids who are curious about the underwater life and ecosystem. Better yet, it’s all free after you pay for the entrance.
- Story Time with a Ranger: here’s another kids-friendly free event, allowing them to get to know the wildlife through fun stories.
- Trail Biking Basics: this one is the best bet for adult bikers willing to use trails. During this event, a Ranger will teach you the basics of biking on Lake Ray Roberts State Park trails in advance. And then, you’ll be able to start a biking session under the observation of the Ranger. (However, since this program is dependent on the weather conditions, try to contact the office in advance).
- Archery in the Park: as the title reveals, in this program, you learn how to shoot an arrow. A certified coach will be there to teach every participant (older than 10) to use a bow and shoot. You just need to have closed-toed shoes as all the other equipment is provided by the Rangers.
- Night Hike with a Ranger: It’s a chance to visit the nightlife of the wildlife in the park. As hiking at night may be a dangerous activity, a Ranger will be with you from the very first moment. So, pack up and ready yourself for a 3-mile hike on the concrete trail.
- Who’s Scat? Hike: yes, you’ll learn how to extract information from the animal scats. A Ranger will teach you what each different animal’s scat looks like and what you can guess observing the shapes!
- Back to Squirrel School: learn about these interesting creatures and get to make a squirrel mask on your own.
7 Public Access Facilities in Lake Ray Roberts
- Buck Creek: west side of US 377, 2-lane slipway, parking for 75 vehicles, not free, and open all year.
- Jordan Park: 1 mile west of Pilot Point on FM 1192, 4-lane slipway, parking for 75 vehicles, not free, and open all year.
- State Park, Isle du Bois Unit: multi-lane concrete slipway with lighted fishing pier boarding pier and parking for 125 cars.
- Sanger Park & Ray Roberts Marina: off FM 455 about 3 miles east of Sanger, multi-lane concrete slipway, parking for 75 cars, not free, and open all year long.
- Pond Creek: off FM 455, just north of the entrance to Ray Roberts Marina, 2-lane slipway, parking for 75 vehicles, not free, and open all year.
- Pecan Creek: 2-lane slipway, parking for 75 vehicles, not free, and open all year.
- State Park, Johnson Branch Unit: multi-lane ramp with, parking for 125 vehicles, park fee required, open all year long.
Isle du Bois
- Campsites with Electricity: including Deer Ridge sites #45-51 and Quail Run sites #148-150 and #153-155. For 30/20-amp camps head to Deer Ridge sites #71, 75 and 100, and Quail Run #132.
Amenities and facilities offered at these sites are a picnic table, fire ring and/or a grill, 20/30/50-amp electric, restrooms with showers nearby, and Water hookup.
The overnight fee is $25 for 30/20-amp sites and $26 for others. Plus, the daily entrance is free of charge.
- Primitive Campsites (Walk-in): located in the Hawthorne (#1-40) and Wild Plum (#117-131) camping areas. You get to have a picnic table, fire ring, tent pad, water, lantern post, and restrooms. The fee for overnight camping is $15 while daily access is free.
- Equestrian Primitive Campsites: these sites are in the Blue Stem Grove area. People without horses can camp in this area as well. You must park your RV on the pavement next to the sites.
The fee for an overnight stay is $15 and daily access is free.
The amenities are a picnic table, water, fire ring and/or grill, hitching/tethering posts. However, there’s no electricity at the site.
- Group Camps: the site is only available for reservations. Amenities are tent pad, water, lantern post, restrooms, three picnic tables, and fire ring with grill. But there’s no electricity available at these sites.
The fee per overnight stay is $30 but daily access is free.
- Campsites with Electricity: including Juniper Cove sites #5-6 and #36-37 and Walnut Loop sites #41-44 and #87-89 with 20/30/50-amp power.
Sites #1-4, 7-35, and 38-39; Walnut sites #40, 45-86, and 90-104 are equipped with 30/20-amp electric.
The overnight fee is $25 for 30/20-amp sites and $26 for others. Plus, the daily entrance is free of charge.
Amenities you get at these sites are a picnic table, outdoor grill, fire ring, lantern post, restrooms with showers nearby, and water hookup.
- Primitive Campsites (Walk-in): located in Oak Point, Dogwood Canyon, Willow Cove, Overflow B, and C areas. Must walk up to 1/4 mile to campsites from the parking area. Amenities are a picnic table, fire ring, tent pad, water, lantern post, restrooms, and outdoor grill.
Marinas in the Area
Ray Roberts Marina
Offering boat storage and a repair shop, this is a full-service spot right in the heart of the lake. Whether you want to rent a boat, buy a brand-new vessel, or just refill your craft tank, Lake Ray Robert Marina will cover you.
Most noteworthy, it’s where you can buy fishing licenses, angling equipment, baits, and groceries.
They are at 1399 Marina Cir, Sanger.
Lone Star Lodge Marina
The good news for those boating or sailing on Lake Ray Roberts is that this marina has outdoor electricity. So, in case your boat batteries are dead, stop by and recharge them as soon as possible. However, if you don’t own a craft, no worries, because this place offers boat, jet ski, kayak, and overnight boat slip rentals!
Find them at 2200 FM 1192, Pilot Point.
Top 3 Eateries/Restaurants Near the Lake Ray Roberts
Ernesto’s Mexican Restaurant
As the title explains, we’re talking about a Mexican chain serving a menu of traditional dishes & Tex-Mex items in a cheery, relaxed setting. To grab a meal at this place, you should go to 10279 Farm to Market 455 E, Pilot Point.
Want a pro tip? Visit them on your birthday to get a free dessert. Plus, bear in mind that it’s a big-enough place to house your parties.
The most recommended food here is Lucy’s platter but you don’t have to worry about the cuisine as everything is worthy of trying.
Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
Located at 202 N 4th St, Sanger, it’s a relaxed local chain serving fried chicken & homestyle American sides in a rustic setting. However, the best part is that you can find all sorts of chicken dishes one can imagine on their menu. And better yet? All the dishes are served with family-style vegetables and mashed potatoes and gravy and biscuits.
Bebo’s and Kathy’s Café
Looking for more than a cup of coffee and ordinary food? This is the place to be then. Bebo’s and Kathy’s Café is at 8470 Hwy 377 South, Pilot Point, with some vibe-passing musing, fair prices, and HUGE dishes.
You must try Catfish—though you’ll not be able to finish it.