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Lake Marble Falls refill delayed

Lowered Lake Marble Falls

These 'beaches' along Backbone Creek, where it empties into Lake Marble Falls, will disappear sometime in late January or early February when the Lower Colorado River Authority refills the lake. The lake level was lowered 7 feet in October. Refilling was delayed from late December to early February. Staff photo by Nathan Bush

Lake Marble Falls will not be returned to its normal lake level until February, rather than early January as first reported, according to the Lower Colorado River Authority. Normally at 737 feet above mean sea level, the lake level was dropped by 7 feet in October for repairs to Max Starcke Dam. It is currently at 730.79 feet msl and was originally due to begin refilling Dec. 26.

“The work on the intake structure at the dam is taking longer than originally expected, so we need to keep the lake drawn down a few more weeks,” said John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of water. “The work is important to help ensure the hydroelectric generators at the dam continue to operate efficiently and reliably. As soon as we get the work complete, we’ll provide an exact date for when the refill will start.”

Property owners working on docks, retraining walls, and other structures should plan to complete those projects by Jan. 15, the LCRA said, as the refill might begin earlier than February.

Originally planned for three months, the drawdown of Lake Marble Falls began on Oct. 1 and took seven days, dropping about a foot a day. Water released totaled about 3,000 acre-feet, which was expected to increase Lake Travis by a few inches.

The lake will be refilled at 2 feet a day.

For a list of projects allowed during the drawdown and to register projects with LCRA, visit Registration for dock repairs is not required, but all work must comply with the Safety Standards for Residential Docks on the Highland Lakes.

Activities prohibited during the drawdown include burning in the lakebed, replacing or building new retaining walls, shoreline work of more than 500 feet, and dredging more than 2,000 cubic yards.