Lake LBJ from Lookout Mountain on RR 1431 in Kingsland. Staff photo by Jared Fields
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AUSTIN — The Lower Colorado River Authority will lower Lake LBJ as well as Lake Austin for about six weeks in early 2017 to give lakeside property owners an opportunity to repair and maintain docks, retaining walls, and other shoreline property. The drawdown also will aid in curbing the growth of nuisance aquatic vegetation such as hydrilla and Eurasian watermilfoil.
“It’s been years since we’ve lowered any of the Highland Lakes,” said John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of water. “Property owners need to maintain their boat docks and perform other maintenance, and I’m pleased our water supplies have been replenished enough that a drawdown is possible. Our lakes are nearly full, and conditions in the basin are better than they have been in several years.”
The LCRA will lower Lake LBJ about four feet from around Jan. 2, 2017, to Feb. 13, 2017. The drawdown will take three to four days. Water released from Lake LBJ for the drawdown will be captured and held downstream in Lake Travis until it is needed by customers.
To refill Lake LBJ, water will be moved downstream from Lake Buchanan beginning about Feb. 10, 2017. The water to refill Lake LBJ is equivalent to about 1.07 feet in Lake Buchanan, but the impact on Lake Buchanan could be reduced by rainfall or additional inflows to lakes LBJ or Buchanan.
A permit is not needed for dock repairs performed on Lake LBJ during the drawdown, but all work must comply with LCRA’s Safety Standards for Residential Docks on the Highland Lakes. Maintenance dredging, debris removal, and repair work on existing retaining walls during the drawdown can be done under LCRA’s permit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, but the work must be registered with LCRA. Registration forms are available:
• online at lcra.org/lakelowerings.
• by calling LCRA Water Quality Protection at (512) 578-2324.
• in person at the LCRA Western Maintenance Facility, 2643 Wirtz Dam Road in Marble Falls, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Burning debris in the lakebed is not allowed.
For more information on work allowed on Lake LBJ during the drawdown, visit lcra.org/lakelowerings or call LCRA Water Quality Protection at (512) 578-2324.