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LCRA lowering LBJ and Inks beginning January 2

2019 Lake LBJ drawdown

The Lower Colorado River Authority lowered Lake LBJ in early 2019 so property owners could perform maintenance. On November 19, the authority announced it would again lower the lake starting January 2, 2020. File photo

On January 2, the Lower Colorado River Authority will begin lowering Lake LBJ and Inks Lake to let lakeside residents and businesses continue with repairs and cleanup from the October 2018 flood.

The eight-week drawdown will conclude February 28.

During this period, LBJ will be lowered 4 feet and Inks Lakes will be lowered 8 feet. The LCRA, which manages the Highland Lakes chain, cannot lower LBJ more than 4 feet without risking interfering with operations at the Thomas C. Ferguson Power Plant, which is on the shores of the lake.

The lakes will be lowered a foot a day until they reach the planned levels. Lake LBJ should be fully lowered by January 5 and Inks Lake by January 9.

Refilling of both lakes will begin February 24 and be complete by February 28.

This is the second year in a row that the LCRA has lowered Lake LBJ. Along with Lake Marble Falls, LBJ was lowered in early 2019 after the October 2018 flood. In August, the Burnet County Commissioners Court requested another drawdown of Lake LBJ after residents explained that, during the previous drawdown, they were focused on their homes rather than docks and removing debris from the lake.

Inks Lake was last lowered in 2018.

During the upcoming drawdown, property owners can continue flood recovery along with removing debris, dredging, and repairing and maintaining docks, retaining walls, and other shoreline property.

According to the LCRA, lowering the lakes during cold winter months also helps curb the growth of nuisance aquatic vegetation.

During the drawdown, a permit is not required for dock repairs on the two lakes, but all work must comply with the LCRA’s Safety Standards for Residential Docks on the Highland Lakes.

Maintenance, dredging, debris removal, and repairs on existing retaining walls during the drawdown can be performed under LCRA’s permit with the Army Corps of Engineers, but the work must be registered with the LCRA before it begins. Registration is available online, by calling the LCRA Water Quality Protection at 512-578-2324, or 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 permitted.

For more information, visit the LCRA’s lake lowering page.