Moss Lake Information

Moss Lake lies in central Cooke County, Texas, just a little over a mile south of the Red River. Moss Lake covers 1,140 acres with a maximum depth of 68 feet. Construction of Fish Creek Dam began in 1964 and impoundment of Moss Lake was completed in 1966. The City of Gainesville, which is the closest city to Moss Lake, owns and operates Moss Lake.

History of Moss Lake

The north and south forks of Fish Creek feed Moss Lake. Fish Creek is a three-mile long tributary of the Red River a few miles southeast of Sivells Bend on the Red River. The City of Gainesville needed a bigger water supply in the early 1960s. Hubert H. Moss was born in Woodbine in 1892, and is Moss Lake’s namesake.

Hubert Moss crusaded for the creation of a lake to supply future water needs in Gainesville while serving as president of the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce beginning in 1951. At Moss Lake, it feels like you are extremely far away from civilization because it is sparsely populated and rural with little habitation and an abundance of wildlife.

Hubert H. Moss, an avid outdoorsman who served as a superintendent of the Gainesville schools and a chemistry instructor, initiated talks for a lake on Fish Creek with Water Control Board in Austin, Texas. He died from a heart attack in 1952 while hunting for arrowheads near Era, Texas, in Cooke County. His historical marker is at 1525 West California Street in Gainesville, Texas.

Before the impoundment of Moss Lake began in 1966, an archeologist from Southern Methodist University, Dessamae Lorrain, excavated five prehistoric Native American sites and recovered pottery. The Caddoan Mississippian culture inhabited much of northeastern Texas beginning about AD 800. The National Park Service funded her excavations. Moss Lake inundated those five prehistoric Native sites.

Moss Lake Cabins and Vacation Homes

There are no cabin rentals on Moss Lake, and very limited private vacation home rental availabilities exist. The Moss Lake vacation home rentals feature various desirable accommodations and amenities like great waterfront views, decks, grills, and private docks and boat ramps.

Find the perfect vacation home on our Moss Lake Cabins page.

Camping at Moss Lake

The City of Gainesville’s Code of Ordinances, Chapter 5, Article VI stipulates:

There shall be no overnight camping on the city-owned property around the lake.

Fishing Moss Lake

The predominant species of fish in Moss Lake are largemouth, spotted, and white bass, crappie, and channel catfish. Other species of fish include bluegill, carp, flathead catfish, gar, sunfish, and trout. Anglers will find standing timber in the upper part of both creek arms along with some submersed aquatic vegetation of approximately 150 acres. Scattered around Moss Lake are submerged creek channels, humps, a standing bridge, and boathouses.

There are two boat ramps on Moss Lake that are open year round. The north ramp on the north side is off FM 1201 with two lanes that can handle boats up to 24 feet. The south ramp is off FM 1201 on south side of the lake with one lane that can handle boats up to 24 feet.

A special boat permit is required on Moss Lake by the City of Gainesville. Two options are available for buying this boat permit. The permit is good for one year from the date of purchase and costs $35. The penalty fee for boating on Moss Lake without a permit is $100. You can buy your Moss Lake Boat Permit at the City of Gainesville Public Works Building or at the Moss Lake Cafe located across the street from the south boat ramp.

Moss Lake has special fishing regulations which you will find here: According to the City of Gainesville’s Code of Ordinances, it is unlawful for any person to set out any net, trotline, or other similar apparatus in the waters of the lake. Moss Lake fishing guides are available, but they usually work several other regional lakes and are not exclusive to Moss Lake.

Find experienced local guides on our Moss Lake Fishing Guides page.

Boating Moss Lake

Moss Lake is a relatively small lake for Texas with clear water if it is not raining excessively, with many coves, lush scenery, and exciting wildlife viewing opportunities. Boating and water sports are popular on Moss Lake. There are only two public boat ramps on Moss Lake that can handle boats up to 24-feet long.

There are no marinas on Moss Lake, but you can find gas at nearby stores. You can find nearby boat repair services and sales in Gainesville, Texas. Moss Lake is day use only, and overnight camping is not permitted. Moss Lake provides a wonderful experience for exploring its shoreline in a boat.

Find or sell a boat on our Moss Lake Boats for Sale page.

Moss Lake Real Estate

Beautiful homes are scattered around Moss Lake’s shoreline. Moss Lake’s real estate market is tight with extremely limited homes for sale at any given time. Moss Lake is comprised of a serene atmosphere in an extremely secluded area. Modern homes average from a half a million dollars down to around $35,000 for a one-acre empty lot.

The closest public schools are the Muenster ISD and Sivells Bend ISD. Gainesville has the closest Walmart. Denton, Texas, about 35 miles south on I35, is the nearest metro area with plenty of shopping and services options. Homebuyers can find homes with waterfront, wooded, and hilltop views.

To find your dream lake home, explore our Moss Lake Homes For Sale page.

Things to Do At Moss Lake

One of the most unique towns to explore near Moss Lake is Muenster, Texas, which is about 25 miles southwest of Moss Lake. Muenster is a predominantly German town where you will find German bakeries, restaurants, and two German grocers. The grocers fatten their own beef and pigs on site and butcher them. You will find the very best of homemade German condiments and sauces plus fresh produce unequal to any other in north Texas.

WinStar World Casino and Resort with 400,000 square feet of gaming floor plays host to nine impressive, city-themed gaming plazas, and over 8,500 electronic games, 100 table games, a 55-table poker room, a racers off-track betting parlor, and Bingo high-stakes rooms. The Chickasaw Nation owns and operates WinStar World Casino and Resort just two miles north of the Red River’s Texas/Oklahoma border on I35 just 16 miles from Moss Lake.

There is so much more to the WinStar World Casino and Resort, with headlining musical and entertainment acts like John Legend, Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, Maroon 5, John Mellencamp, Dolly Parton, Sting, and Jerry Seinfeld. There are several nightclubs featuring various themes scattered throughout the complex along with hotels, a convention center, the Golf Academy and Club with two championship 18-hole courses, and unique shopping opportunities.

Explore your options on our What To Do At Moss Lake page.

Moss Lake Weather

Moss Lake sees an average of 39 inches of rain, 232 sunny days, and two inches of snow per year. The January low is 30 degrees, the July high is 94 degrees, and April, May, and October are the most pleasant months of the year.

Stay up to date on our Moss Lake Weather page.

Keep an eye on the skies with our Moss Lake Weather Forecast page.

Moss Lake Zip Codes

Cooke County: 76238, 76239, 76240, 76241, 76250, 76252, 76253, 76263, 76265.

Flora and Fauna

Wildlife enthusiasts at Moss Lake will find common sightings of armadillos, coyotes, red foxes, possums, cottontail rabbits, raccoons, skunks, white tailed deer, and wild boars. Alligator and bobcat sightings are extremely rare. There are more than a few species of bats living around Moss Lake.

The predominant trees are bur, live, post oaks, and red oaks and live oaks. Other tree species include  bois d’arc, American, cedar, and Chinese elm, and native pecan trees. Approximately 270 species of birds have been reported in Cooke County. Birding opportunities at Moss Lake are excellent.

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Moss Lake Current Weather Alerts

There are no active watches, warnings or advisories.


Moss Lake Weather Forecast



Hi: 68

Wednesday Night


Lo: 42



Hi: 73

Thursday Night


Lo: 46


Mostly Sunny

Hi: 77

Friday Night

Partly Cloudy

Lo: 57



Hi: 75

Saturday Night

Chance Thunderstorms

Lo: 51

Moss Lake Water Level (last 30 days)

Water Level on 4/3: 714.80 (-0.20)