Complete Toledo Bend Lake Level History

Graphs: 30 Years   1969 - 1999

Graphs for 30 years of the lake's 45 year history showing the lowest level each year.

Table: 48 Years   1968 - 2015

Table of monthly lake levels for the last 45 years

In response to a number of questions, here is the information that Toledo-Bend.Com has come up with on the historic levels of the lake from the period of 1969 through 2012. Some of this information seems to be available only in graph form; from 1986 it is available as hard data, though - which we have painstakingly parsed out for you. You didn't really want to read over 9,000 daily lake level readings, did you? So, here are about 300 monthly levels. JANUARY, 2012: We got the daily lake levels from 1968 - 1986 and now have a complete history of the monthly average (1968-1999) or mean (1999-2011) levels.

A BIG THANK YOU To Mr. David Barnhill of Many, LA! He found records of the lake level, day-by-day from its inception in 1968 - 1986 and has furnished those to Toledo-Bend.Com - which filled in the big blank spot in lake leves from 1968 - October 1986 and now gives a complete history of the levels of Toledo Bend throughout its existance!  -1/14/2012

Lowest Recorded Lake Levels:
161.25 - October 16, 2006
159.42 - November 22, 2011

Highest Lake Levels (1968-1996) - 173.73
Days over 173 MSL:

Dec 3-10, 1968 Max 173.38           Mar 18-27, 1969 Max 173.42
May 3, 1973 Max 173.11           Jan 23-28, 1975 Max 173.4
May 22, 1983 Max 173.08           May 18-20, 1989 Max 173.73
June 29-July 5, 1989 Max 173.44           May 17-18 + June 1-4, 1990 Max 173.18
Apr 25-28, 995 Max 173.1           Mar 18, 2015 Max 173.0
Mar 22-24, 2015 Max 173.2

Toledo Bend Reservoir at HISTORIC Level!

Thursday 3/10/2016 Toledo Bend Lake hit a historic high level at the dam of 174.36 MSL at about 6:00 AM. The following pictures were taken at 1:00 PM March 10, 2016 when the SRA Louisiana had brought the lake rise under control and it had actually gone down about an inch to 174.25 MSL. There were 9 gates open 22 feet (the other 2 gates are undergoing maintenance) and Generator was running. Total release was 207,644 cubic feet per second (CFS) of water - that's just over 1.5 million gallons per second! It is enough to fill 7 Olympic swimming pools every 3 seconds. The water flowing through the gates was sill a few inches below the gate openings, though, because the water is constricted as to comes into the passage ways for the gates - actually flowing downhill to the gates! The most the gates had ever been opened before was 11' with a flow of 99,000 CFS.
All images are © Copyright 2016 by Toledo-Bend.Com. Feel free to link to this page - HOWEVER, these pictures MAY NOT BE COPIED and sent or posted elsewhere.
~Click any image for an enlargement~
Toledo Bend Dam Spillway Toledo Bend Dam Spillway Toledo Bend Dam Spillway
Toledo Bend Lake Spillway with Gates Open 22'
Toledo Bend Dam Spillway Toledo Bend Dam Spillway Toledo Bend Dam Spillway
Water coming into gate Water going through under gate
Toledo Bend Dam Spillway Toledo Bend Dam Spillway Toledo Bend Dam Spillway
Water after passing through gates going into Sabine River
All images are © Copyright 2016 by Toledo-Bend.Com. Feel free to link to this page - HOWEVER, these pictures MAY NOT BE COPIED and sent or posted elsewhere.
~Click any image for an enlargement~
 
Graphs of lowest lake levels
for the years 1969 - 1999

Click any image for enlargement

Lake Levels 1969-1999
Lowest Lake Levels '69 - '85 (above) Lowest Lake Levels '69 - '99
(below) Lowest Lake Levels '86 - '99
Lake Levels 1969-1985 Lake Levels 1986-1999

Toledo Bend Reservoir - Lake Level MSL 1968 - 2015

Monthly average/mean level in feet above MSL
Average for 1968 - Oct, 1999 - Mean for Oct, 1999 - Mar, 2011 - mostly - for some months data was missing and had to be gathered and it was averaged. In spot checking - Average from Mar, 2011 - present, we found the differences between average and mean to be less than 0.02 ft. For 2012 the levels are mean for each given month.

NOTE: Lake is low in 1968 because that is when it is filling up! Notice how quickly it rose 24 feet from January through May! 1968 is not included in overall average figures at bottom for this reason

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1968 147.86 152.40 155.96 165.54 171.21 172.37 172.42 172.20 172.25 172.06 171.99 172.78
1969 171.13 172.00 172.76 171.98 172.20 171.49 170.56 169.53 168.21 167.35 167.25 167.85
1970 169.15 169.74 171.22 170.99 171.35 171.31 171.04 170.05 169.45 169.01 170.02 170.17
                         
1971 169.58 169.54 169.69 169.67 169.92 169.56 168.96 169.15 168.89 168.68 169.02 169.94
1972 170.64 170.04 170.60 171.38 171.38 170.30 170.20 169.24 167.36 166.49 167.95 169.95
1973 171.20 171.49 172.25 172.40 172.51 172.28 171.91 171.02 170.06 169.89 171.62 172.40
1974 172.65 172.14 171.50 171.91 171.80 171.48 170.88 168.99 168.06 168.61 171.19 172.42
1975 171.98 172.23 171.39 170.24 172.19 172.24 171.89 170.60 168.66 167.78 168.27 168.45
                         
1976 169.22 169.76 170.29 170.34 171.75 172.05 172.11 170.05 168.10 167.09 167.08 167.84
1977 168.54 169.55 170.88 171.58 171.85 170.89 169.84 168.55 167.36 166.33 166.19 166.62
1978 167.59 169.48 169.80 170.45 170.85 170.56 169.32 168.35 168.67 168.71 168.53 169.22
1979 171.35 172.00 171.68 172.16 172.09 172.12 171.05 170.47 169.35 168.88 169.25 169.15
1980 169.16 171.01 170.23 171.95 172.16 171.63 170.54 169.22 168.22 167.21 167.13 167.02
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1981 166.90 167.06 167.52 167.57 168.07 170.66 171.72 169.63 168.92 168.76 169.18 169.43
1982 169.45 169.88 169.80 171.00 171.34 170.92 170.93 169.64 168.59 168.30 168.27 170.70
1983 170.78 171.46 171.21 170.33 171.46 171.79 170.50 169.37 168.81 168.41 168.16 169.79
1984 169.26 170.11 171.08 170.61 171.21 171.03 169.53 168.45 167.92 168.17 169.11 169.12
1985 168.97 169.75 170.73 170.54 171.90 171.51 170.18 168.75 167.81 167.52 169.41 171.45
                         
1986 170.51 169.25 169.24 169.76 171.16 172.50 171.85 170.13 169.10 168.498 167.866 170.195
1987 169.525 169.524 171.868 170.037 169.307 168.989 168.403 166.545 165.788 165.193 165.761 167.911
1988 170.047 169.107 169.829 170.373 169.89 168.875 168.103 167.685 167.044 166.442 166.183 167.076
1989 168.999 169.523 169.726 171.546 171.873 172.56 172.292 171.148 169.481 168.101 167.798 167.358
1990 169.109 172.25 170.572 170.973 172.271 172.259 170.682 168.759 167.482 166.935 167.292 168.439
                         
1991 171.581 171.836 171.504 171.505 172.491 171.506 171.174 170.474 169.103 166.292 165.287 166.304
1992 169.193 171.876 172.593 171.274 170.981 171.517 171.384 169.926 168.574 167.645 167.664 168.308
1993 170.766 170.137 171.214 172.159 170.79 170.678 171.076 168.874 166.164 165.008 165.377 165.499
1994 165.86 168.635 170.827 170.299 171.662 171.629 170.848 170.928 169.128 169.4 169.098 168.831
1995 171.562 171.926 172 171.56 172.042 171.571 170.577 168.808 166.858 165.783 165.478 165.528
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996 166.044 165.872 165.626 165.663 165.817 165.609 165.281 165.105 165.227 165.639 165.803 167.178
1997 169.031 170.966 172.831 172.593 172.308 172.061 171.654 170.893 169.7 169.125 168.41 169.045
1998 171.876 172.535 172.163 170.737 170.24 169.191 167.41 165.274 164.864 165.85 167.958 169.746
1999 171.849 171.738 170.197 170.557 170.271 170.793 171.006 169.16 167.425 166.776 166.365 166.246
2000 166.111 165.902 166.309 169.120 170.894 171.389 171.654 169.826 167.960 166.945 167.621 168.779
                         
2001 170.543 171.951 172.861 171.861 170.920 171.317 170.812 168.964 166.697 163.544 163.707 167.937
2002 170.499 170.173 170.012 171.967 171.836 171.787 170.775 168.836 166.840 166.338 168.246 168.859
2003 169.934 169.972 172.085 171.039 170.827 170.669 170.335 168.771 167.264 166.325 166.477 167.294
2004 167.941 171.605 171.619 170.288 172.144 172.097 171.957 170.278 168.596 168.467 169.172 170.029
2005 169.051 169.972 169.908 170.670 170.088 168.954 167.476 165.512 163.611 163.572 163.097 162.905
                         
2006 162.974 164.776 166.639 168.159 168.420 167.210 165.626 163.635 162.088 162.923 165.144 165.444
2007 170.294 170.360 169.964 170.845 171.107 170.933 172.019 171.481 169.603 167.914 167.673 167.946
2008 168.425 169.496 170.695 172.320 171.886 171.476 170.350 168.533 168.118 167.745 167.863 168.298
2009 168.477 168.751 169.936 171.473 171.936 171.286 169.822 168.985 168.318 169.805 172.357 170.718
2010 169.868 170.180 171.857 170.537 170.218 169.177 168.274 167.701 166.148 164.414 164.062 163.818
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2011 163.877 164.602 164.574 164.371 163.853 163.318 162.642 161.793 160.954 160.188 159.781 160.324
2012 162.28 164.92 168.86 170.50 170.29 169.35 169.32 168.97 168.52 168.42 167.77 167.55
2013 169.04 169.03 169.17 170.06 170.37 170.35 169.26 168.07 167.44 167.57 168.25 168.36
2014 168.77 169.17 169.73 170.54 171.04 171.14 171.29 171.22 170.37 169.04 168.15 168.31
2015 169.54 169.18 171.78 172.33 172.33 172.53 171.84 170.36 168.65 167.77 169.83 172.04
Average Level for 48 years 1969 - 2015
AVG 169.176 169.843 170.401 170.642 170.920 170.734 170.134 168.885 167.690 167.122 167.512 168.249
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2016                        

SOURCE: USGS (primarily) - As these figures were obtained from different databases, there is some difference; the figures for 1986 - September, 1999 are monthly AVERAGES calculated by the webmaster from daily figures (yes, about 5,000 days worth!!!); the figures subsequent to September, 1999 are the mean levels as obtained from USGS (well, most are; a few we had to research and calculate since they weren't provided). In spot checking, we found the differences between average and mean to be less than 0.02 ft.

PLEASE NOTE: while these figures are available from public sources, the information presented here is Copyright © 2011 by Frank Dutton / Toledo-Bend.Com as an original compilation derived from other data - all rights reserved.