John's Creek Lodge

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General Information About Cooper Lake

If you're looking for a place to take your family to enjoy the great outdoors, Cooper Lake is a popular location for recreational activities such as fishing, camping, swimming, boating, and more. The body of water is situated northeast by southwest in the Sulphur River bottom. Both middle and south Sulphur Rivers feed Cooper and join together in the lake. Even though Cooper Lake covers 19,800 areas, Sulphur is still one of the biggest hardwood bottoms in Texas. Cooper has roughly 11,000 acres of open water on the lower end (east end) of the lake, and the upper end (west end) is dense standing timber.

The construction of the dam created many borrow pits or deep holes, which made for great structure. Every borrow pit has a construction road leading to it that also contributes to the structure of the lake. Before the digging could begin, the trees had to be cleared. Some of the trees were used to make big brush piles for the fish, and they have been a huge success! Aside from the deep holes, most of the lake is relatively shallow. The average depth is about twelve feet, and the color of the water ranges from muddy to clear.

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Traveling the Lake


Discover adventure as you navigate the waters of Cooper Lake. This entire body of water was once a river bottom full of oak and bois d'arc trees that had been untouched for hundreds of years. The lower (east) end of the lake has been cleared, although many of the stumps still exist and stand as tall as two feet off the lake bottom. Be careful in shallow water even if it looks open. If it is your first time to Cooper, keep an eye on your depth finder, and you will be fine.

Truck and Boat

The upper (west) end of the lake has 6 lanes for traveling through the timber. Boat lane #1 is five boats wide and is the only lane totally cleared with no stumps. This is the main boat lane that heads out of the John's Creek boat ramp, the only boat ramp in the timber. Lanes #2 through #6 are all two boats wide. Use caution when running lanes #2 through #4 and do not attempt to run #5 and #6. Water less than three feet can be dangerous in any boat lane due to stumps and floating timber. One bit of advice about the timber: if it is your first time on the lake, do not follow anyone that is running on plane through the trees unless you feel confident they know where they are going. It only takes a few extra minutes to idle through the trees, and it sure can save a lower unit.