Lake Austin

Created by Tom Miller Dam, the lake flows through the City of Austin and is a popular recreational lake. Lake Austin is separated from Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) by Longhorn Dam.

For information on parks on the Highland Lakes, see a map of parks and preserves

For more information on Lady Bird Lake, see the Texas Parks and Wildlife site

Elevation when full: 492.8 feet above mean sea level (msl)
Historic high: 495.2 feet above msl on May 25, 1981
Historic low: 474.3 feet above msl on Feb. 17, 1963
Normal operating range: 491.8 to 492.8 feet above msl

The Lower Colorado River Authority was created in 1934 by the Texas Legislature as a conservation and reclamation district with no taxing authority and operates solely on utility revenues and fees generated from supplying energy, water, and community services.  LCRA supplies low-cost electricity for Central Texas, manages water supplies and floods in the lower Colorado River basin, develops water and wastewater utilities, provides public parks, and supports community and economic development including managing the Highland Lakes. Goals include providing low-cost utility services and to help ensure the protection and constructive use of the area’s natural resources. The Highland Lakes chain consists of 7 lakes starting at Lake Buchanan and culminating in Lady Bird Johnson Lake in Austin.

Current Lake Levels (from LCRA)
Historical Lake Levels (from LCRA)

 

Lake Travis

This sunset photo was taken from the deck of The Oasis Restaurant on 03/02/2007 overlooking Lake Travis, about 10 miles west of Austin, TX. At that time, the water level was near historic lows, due to the Texas drought of 2006. With the water level down nearly 30 feet below normal, the Sometimes Islands become significant in size. They are named the Sometimes Islands because they have been rarely been seen since the lake was formed by the completion of Mansfield Dam in 1941. Mansfield Dam is seen in the lower left corner of this photograph.

Lake Travis is the largest in the Highland Lakes chain and is essentially a reservoir designed to contain floodwaters in the Lower Colorado River basin in order to help prevent destruction downstream, particularly along the shores of Lake Austin.   Much of our drinking water comes from Lake Travis.  The dam is an impressive structure and was built across a deep canyon at Marshall Ford, a long-time river crossing and settlement.

The lake is about 65 miles long and over 100′ deep in places.  It is a very popular boating and recreational lake, particularly with its close proximity to Austin and the surrounding communities.

Mansfield Dam and Lake Travis are the only structures in the Highland Lakes chain specifically designed to contain floodwaters in the lower Colorado River basin. The lake can store as much as 260 billion gallons of floodwaters, helping to prevent destruction downstream.

When the elevation of the lake exceeds 681 feet above mean sea level (msl), LCRA begins floodgate releases under the direction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The amount and duration of the releases will vary, depending upon the weather and flood conditions above and below the dam.

LCRA and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation built the dam from 1937 to 1941. Its completion was accelerated after a severe flood in July 1938. After the flood, LCRA raised the height of the dam to add storage capacity for flood control.

The dam was built across a deep canyon at Marshall Ford, a long-time river crossing and settlement. The Corps of Engineers still refers to the structure as Marshall Ford Dam. It was renamed in 1941 for U.S. Rep. J.J. Mansfield, who assisted in the project’s development.

For information about parks on Lake Travis, see map of parks and preserves.

Elevation when full: 681 feet above mean sea level (msl)
Historic high: 710.4 feet above msl on Dec. 25, 1991
Historic low: 614.2 feet above msl on Aug. 14, 1951
Normal operating range: at or below 681 feet above msl

The Lower Colorado River Authority was created in 1934 by the Texas Legislature as a conservation and reclamation district with no taxing authority and operates solely on utility revenues and fees generated from supplying energy, water, and community services.  LCRA supplies low-cost electricity for Central Texas, manages water supplies and floods in the lower Colorado River basin, develops water and wastewater utilities, provides public parks, and supports community and economic development including managing the Highland Lakes.   Goals include providing low-cost utility services and to help ensure the protection and constructive use of the area’s natural resources.  The Highland Lakes chain consists of 7 lakes starting at Lake Buchanan and culminating in Lady Bird Johnson Lake in Austin.

Current Lake Levels (from LCRA)

Historical Lake Levels (from LCRA)

 

Lake LBJ

Created by the construction of Wirtz Dam, the lake is about 21 miles long.  The dam and lake originally were called Granite Shoals and the lake was renamed in 1965 for an advocate of LCRA, President Lyndon B. Johnson.  It is a very popular boating and recreational lake and offers many opportunities for second homes, vacation homes, retirement homes, and full-time residences.

The lake is less than 1 hour from Austin and about 2 hours to San Antonio.

Communities on the lake include: Horseshoe Bay, Sunrise Beach, Blue Lake, Kingsland, Highland Haven, and Granite Shoals.

There are 2 public boat ramps.  

 

Wirtz Dam/Cottonwood Ramp
Located on the south shore near the dam. From Marble Falls, take FM 2147 to sign on right
One-lane concrete ramp, parking for 20-30 boats and trailers
Boat launch fee required
Open all year
Operated by Lake LBJ Yacht Club and Marina (830) 693-9172
Kingsland Lions Park
Located on the Llano River arm, north side of the lake. In Marble Falls, take FM 1431 west to Kingsland and turn left on RR 2900.
One-lane concrete ramp
Boat launch fee requested
Open all year; day use only
Operated by Kingsland Chamber of Commerce (325) 388-6211

Wirtz Dam/Cottonwood Ramp  Located on the south shore near the dam. From Marble Falls, take FM 2147 to sign on right. One-lane concrete ramp, parking for 20-30 boats and trailers. Boat launch fee required. Open all year operated by Lake LBJ Yacht Club and Marina. (830) 693-9172

 

Kingsland Lions Park Ramp Located on the Llano River arm, north side of the lake. From Marble Falls, take FM 1431 west to Kingsland and turn left on RR 2900. One-lane concrete ramp. Boat launch fee requested. Open all year; day use only. Operated by Kingsland Chamber of Commerce.  (325) 388-6211

Search Homes for Sale on Lake LBJ

$200,000-$500,000

$500,000-$750,000

$750,000-$1,000,000

Over $1,000,000

=========================

Search for Condos for Sale on Lake LBJ

Under $500,000

Over $500,000

Current Lake Levels (from LCRA) | Historical Lake Levels (from LCRA)   

For information about parks on Lake LBJ, see a map of parks and preserves.

Lake elevation when full: 825 feet above mean sea level (msl)

Historic high: 836.2 feet above msl on Sept. 11, 1952

Historic low: 793.8 feet above msl on Nov. 16, 1970

Normal operating range: 824.4 feet to 825 feet above msl

The Lower Colorado River Authority was created in 1934 by the Texas Legislature as a conservation and reclamation district.  It operates on utility revenues and fees generated from supplying energy, water, and community services.  LCRA supplies low-cost electricity for Central Texas, manages water supplies and floods in the lower Colorado River basin, develops water and wastewater utilities, provides public parks, and supports community and economic development including managing the Highland Lakes.  The Highland Lakes chain consists of 7 lakes starting at Lake Buchanan (followed by Inks Lake, then Lake LBJ, then Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, then Lake Austin and culminating in Lady Bird Johnson Lake in Austin.