Bois d'Arc Lake getting $2.5 million for lake patrol, boating equipment, dispatch

Published: Feb. 6, 2019 at 6:26 PM CST
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The Fannin County Sheriff's Office is getting $2.5 million for lake patrol and more.

The 16,000 acre Bois d'Arc Lake is under construction.

Now, the sheriff's office has a contract with the water district to add new equipment, lake patrol and even a new communication system.

"We got a lot of stuff, it's gonna benefit Fannin County," Sheriff Mark Johnson said.

Crews broke ground on Bois d'Arc Lake in North Fannin County last year.

Johnson was worried about how deputies would patrol a lake that's two and a half times the size of Bonham-- their biggest city.

"We're gonna be policing during prime-time, spring weather, and emergencies on the water," he said.

After meeting with the North Texas Municipal Water District, the district agreed to give the sheriff's office $2.5 million paid out over 10 years.

It'll pay for four new deputies' salaries and training for all deputies.

"There's a lot swift water and scuba diving training they need," Johnson said.

It'll also pay for new equipment, including trucks, dive gear, two boats, an ATV and a sonar system.

"Sonar equipment if someone does drown," he said.

And Johnson's biggest worry was dispatching to the lake. Before, much of the county was out of reach.

But the district is paying $400,000 to add a new satellite communication system that will cover the whole county.

"We've hit home on everything," he said.

Johnson got advice from game wardens about lake patrol too, like Fannin County Game Warden Randolph McGee.

"We are the chief law enforcement over the public water,' McGee said. "With the new lake we're gonna be front and center."

After the ten years is up, Johnson hopes to see the lake patrol pay for itself through taxes collected on economic activity around the lake.

The lake is set to open in 2022.