Cooper Lake State Park, 3,026 acres, is situated in northeast Texas. The park consists of two units: the Doctors Creek Unit, 715.5 acres, located in Delta County, and the South Sulphur Unit, 2,310.5 acres, located in northern Hopkins County. Cooper Lake, 19,300 acres, is a young lake; embankment construction on the South Sulphur River began in 1986. Lake construction was completed in the fall of 1991 and impoundment began on September 28, 1991. The park property was acquired in January 1991 and opened for boat access in November 1992. The Doctors Creek Unit opened January 3, 1996; the South Sulphur Unit opened April 27, 1996. Both park units are leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 25 years.
The rolling hills of Cooper Lake State Park, from the steeper hills of the South Sulphur Unit to the more gradual slopes of the Doctor's Creek Unit, offer spectacular views of Cooper Lake. The park is centrally located to surrounding communities, including Paris, Cooper, Greenville, Sulphur Springs and Commerce, as well as the urban centers of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and Texarkana
Located on land that is now beneath the waters of Cooper Lake are traces of ancient people such as the Caddo Indians who came there thousands of years ago, as well as evidence of the more recent settlers and farmers who lived in the area in the 1800s. Immigrants from Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas and Virginia altered the landscape by introducing agriculture and livestock. By the 19th century, the area became known for its cotton and dairy production. Today a wide range of land- and water-based recreational opportunities have been established to provide resource-oriented outdoor experiences that are compatible with natural resource preservation.
Lake History: The Cooper Lake Project was authorized in 1955 with embankment construction beginning in 1986. Located within the South Sulphur River watershed, the lake was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help control flooding on the South Sulphur River, to serve as a water supply for towns in the area, and to provide recreational opportunities such as fishing and boating. The lake covers about 19,000 acres and is surrounded by thousands of acres devoted to parks and wildlife management. The lake has evolved into one of the best all-around fishing lakes in the region, growing in popularity among weekend anglers and pro guides alike. Species likely to be caught are blue and channel catfish, bluegill, Florida largemouth bass, crappie and hybrid striped bass.