The Lake Meredith Amarillo Survival Guide
With temperatures cranking up this week and into the weekend I think I'm ready to start heading out to the lake again. With restrictions removed it might be a little more packed than normal but with a few tips you can become a Lake Meredith expert and enjoy all that this beautiful oasis in the panhandle offers.
Like many lakes in Texas, Lake Meredith is an impound lake formed by a dam, in this case it's the Sanford Dam holding in the Canadian River built in 1962 and completed in 1965 taking a few years afterwards to fill. The average depth usually runs anywhere from 70-80 feet depending on inflow and rain. It's been as low as 26 feet and as high as 101 back in 1973.
Can You Swim in Lake Meredith?
Believe it or not yes you can swim in Lake Meredith, there is plenty of room and SCUBA is definitely possible here but you're sharing the lake with plenty of folks who bring their boats and toys out so it might be a matter of staying out of someone's way. There is one hazard here and that is the surface waves. Amarillo and the surrounding area tends to be windy and those waves can kick up quick because of that. The breeze does make the lake a great spot for parasailing.
The Fishing is Good Too
If you like to cast, Texas Parks and Wildlife does keep the lake stocked with large and smallmouth bass, Walleye, Crappie, Channel and Flathead Catfish among others. You do need a fishing permit but depending on the time of year you might just be able to get around it.
I'm Not Big On Water, Now What?
There are more than plenty of great hiking trails around the lake for every skill level and ability one word of caution, Like Palo Duro Canyon, Lake Meredith sits in a canyon too and it can get hot, it's not a bad idea to carry extra water with you. Watch out for snakes as the Prairie and western diamond back rattlesnakes make this place home.
Lake Meredith is 34 Miles northeast of Amarillo, It operates year round subject to weather and there is no admission, You will have to pay the National Park Service to use the boat ramps and like any other Texas lake its not a bad idea to clean drain and dry your bilge before leaving to prevent the spread of mussels to other lakes.
If you happen to be out there keep an eye out for some of the wildlife: