Lake Texoma's popularity is largely attributed to its sheer size and proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The lake is about an hour's drive north from the metropolitan area. The Lake Texoma area, known simply as Texoma.
The Red River that formed Lake Texoma is a saltwater river due to salt deposits left over from a 250 million year old former sea that was in the current Texas-Oklahoma border region. As time passed, that sea evaporated, leaving salt deposits — mostly sodium chloride. Rock and silt eventually buried the deposits, but the salt continues to leach through natural seeps in tributaries above Lake Texoma, sending as much as 3,450 tons of salt per day flowing down the Red River. The problem with the water in the Red River is much of it is too salty and requires costly treatment, if it is usable at all. Due to this phenomenon striped bass, a saltwater fish, thrive in Lake Texoma. Lake Texoma is home to the only self-sustaining population of striped bass in Texas.
The lake was stocked with striped bass in the late 1960s, and has proven to be an excellent habitat for them. It is one of the seven U.S. inland lakes where the striped bass reproduce naturally, instead of being farmed and released into the waters. The "stripers" feed on large schools of shad, and often reach sizes of 12 to 20 pounds (5.4 to 9.1 kilograms), with a lake record of 35.12 pounds (15.93 kg) caught April 25, 1984.
Historically, Texas and Oklahoma have not had a reciprocal fishing license agreement, which has posed a problem for anglers. Recent boundary resolutions have given Oklahoma jurisdiction over most of the fishing in Lake Texoma. An Oklahoma fishing license allows fishing most of the lake, up to within 400 yards (370 m) of Denison Dam. To fish the entire lake, a Lake Texoma fishing license was established and made available in 1979.