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Lake Buchanan was the first lake built on the Highland Lakes Chain. It was started in 1931 and finally completed in 1939. It was originally part of the Colorado River, which was prone to flooding. The dam was built to control the flooding and to provide power through the hydroelectric dam for the area. The lake was named after a state representative, James P. Buchanan, who arranged funding for the lake.
Lake Buchanan is the largest of the lakes in the chain and is 22,333 acres. That’s almost 35 square miles.
This is our very favorite lake. And not just because we are building a waterfront house on this lake. Lake Buchanan has some of the best fishing in the state. If you have corralled enough Fishing Advice from the locals there, you’d know that it is stocked yearly with stripers and hybrid stripers. It also has healthy populations of largemouth bass, white bass and catfish. There are several public boat ramps and parks. The parks run by the LCRA are Cedar Point Recreation Area, Black Rock Park, and Canyon of the Eagles. There are also several fishing guides in the area who will take you fishing for either half day or whole day fishing trips.
One of my favorite areas to visit is the waterfalls. It is on the north end of the lake, about 20 miles north of the dam.
During the hottest part of the summer, when the rain stops, there isn’t any water coming over the falls. This lake is one of the lakes in the chain that is not a constant level lake. When it gets dry, the lake goes down. This helps to control flooding along the Colorado River. This means that sometimes boat docks get left high and dry. But it’s a small price to pay to eliminate the flooding problems along the river.
Letting water out of the dam also generates power through the hydroelectric power plant. The dam spans more than two miles. When the dam was completed, the old town of Bluffton was completely submerged. Over 50 families were forced to sell their property to the state so they could build the lake. During a recent historic drought, part of the old town was re-exposed.
The water in the lake is pretty clear. The bottom is mostly crushed granite. It is a wonderful lake to spend time on. We go fishing, boating and tubing often. We love that it is never crowded, unlike some of the other lakes in the chain.
Check back for more pictures and videos of Lake Buchanan. We are just beginning the process of building a home. Like many people, we are building the dock first! We have serious priorities. They revolve around boating and fishing.