The Lower Colorado River Authority has lowered Lake Austin by about 10 feet for dock repairs and other maintenance. The drawdowns began on January 2, 2017, with low lake levels expected for about six weeks and lake refills expected to begin the week of February 2, 2017. Normal water levels are expected by February 13, 2017. Lake LBJ also is down for repairs and maintenance, with a four foot decrease.
The planned drawdowns were scheduled to allow lakeside homeowners and business owners to perform maintenance on docks, retaining walls, and other structures, as well to dredge, remove debris, and help “thwart the growth of nuisance aquatic vegetation,” such as hydrilla and Eurasian watermilfoil, according to the LCRA. Exposing these kinds of plants to cool, dry winter air kills off leaves and stems, helping to minimize their effect on the upper levels of the lake.
The January-February timeline was chosen because it is a time of lower water use, as well as offering less chance of disruption to aquatic life and recreation, and also for the cold air possibility for vegetation exposure. Lake Austin was last lowered in 2011, and Lake LBJ was last lowered in 2008.
Residents and business owners are advised that the City of Austin has permit requirements for any work that is performed on Lake Austin. Additional information about the requirements can be found on this LCRA news release. Permits are not required for dock repairs on Lake LBJ, although minimum requirements are in place. Please view the updated LCRA release for additional information.