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101 THINGS TO DO: Go boating or take a hike at Inks Lake in Burnet

Brothers Sean (left) and David Pruitt take part in a canoe clinic at Inks Lake in Burnet. The lake is popular with boaters. Staff photo by Jared Fields

Drought or no drought, one lake that is always filled and ready for sport is Inks Lake in Burnet. A constant-level lake, Inks covers 831 acres with a maximum depth of 60 feet. Its 888 feet of water fluctuates by only about a foot a year.

At 4.2 miles long and 3,000 feet wide, it is the shortest of the lakes on the Colorado River chain, which includes Buchanan, LBJ, Marble Falls and Travis. Inks Lake is home to one of the prettiest state parks in Texas as well.

When the highway department built a new four-lane bridge over the lake, the old overhead suspension bridge became a picturesque walking bridge, adding another great place to stroll, hike or bike in the Highland Lakes.

Inks is great for boating and fishing, even during the winter months. Fishermen will find largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, catfish and sunfish, which are all stocked by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

White bass are the most prominent and popular fish in Inks. Spawning season draws the white bass to the upper end of the reservoir each February. Live minnows or lures such as twister tail jigs and small hair jigs are effective with white bass, say the experts at TPWD.

No matter what time of year, it’s a great time to hit the water in the Highland Lakes, an area aptly named for its string of man-made lakes along the Colorado River. From lakes Buchanan to Travis, the Highland Lakes has much to offer water enthusiasts year-round.

The counties, state and Lower Colorado River Authority provide multiple boat ramps up and down the chain of waterways that make up the Highland Lakes. Be warned though: In times of drought, some of those ramps might be closed, especially in lakes Buchanan and Travis.