LCRA Parks Land and Water Use Regulations


The purpose of these regulations is to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay for all visitors to LCRA parks. For more information, submit your questions to Ask LCRA.


These regulations apply to all water under the jurisdiction of the Lower Colorado River Authority (“LCRA water”) and to all land owned by the Lower Colorado River Authority (“LCRA land”).

    These regulations are adopted and promulgated under authority vested in the Board of Directors of the LCRA by the laws of the State of Texas, including, but not limited to, the LCRA Act, Chapter 51 of the Texas Water Code, and Chapter 31 of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code.
    The following words in these regulations have the definitions attached to them in this paragraph:“General manager” means the general manager or the acting general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority or his designee.
    1. “Watercraft” means any boat, vessel, personal watercraft, barge or similar floating craft used or capable of being used for transportation on water.
    2. “Motorboat” means any vessel propelled or designed to be propelled by machinery, whether or not the machinery is permanently or temporarily affixed or is the principal source of propulsion.
    3. “Floating habitable structure” means a floating structure intended to be used as a temporary or permanent domicile by one or more persons and may contain all or part of the following: cooking, eating, living, and sanitary facilities. The definition includes a floating home, residence or domicile. A floating habitable structure includes a structure that may be capable of navigation but is not designed primarily for that purpose. The attachment of an outboard motor and registration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a vessel does not imply that it is used primarily for navigation. This definition expressly excludes houseboats or other watercraft with overnight accommodations that are designed primarily for navigation.
    4. “Grandfathered Floating Habitable Structure” means a floating habitable structure that existed on one of the Highland Lakes prior to October 20, 2010.
    1. A motorboat operating on LCRA water must have an exhaust water manifold or a factory-type muffler installed on the engine.
    2. Watercraft on LCRA water shall be equipped and operated in accordance with all provisions of the Water Safety Act and all water safety rules and regulations adopted by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
    3. The operator of any watercraft involved in an accident shall immediately report the accident to an LCRA Ranger or other law enforcement official.
    4. Any watercraft being operated on the Highland Lakes that is equipped with an optional exhaust noise-suppression device shall be operated with the device engaged when in a “No Wake” area.
    5. No person may operate a motorized watercraft on the Highland Lakes at a speed greater than the minimum speed necessary to maintain steerageway and headway within 50 feet of the shoreline, structures, swimmers or restricted areas.
    6. No person may operate a watercraft on the Highland Lakes at a noise level greater than 92 decibels, measured using the Society of Automotive Engineers' standard J-2005 (stationary test). 
    7. It is unsafe for watercraft to operate faster than 20 miles per hour or the minimum planing speed at night on the Highland Lakes.
    The general manager is authorized to designate certain areas in LCRA water as fishing, swimming, or otherwise restricted areas. Such areas shall be marked by buoys or signs. No person shall engage in any activity that violates a posted prohibition or restriction. This paragraph shall not apply to maintenance, patrol, or rescue watercraft.
    In the case of extreme flooding, water contamination, or other emergency or natural disaster, the general manager is authorized to declare restrictions on the use of all or any portion of LCRA water for a period not to exceed 30 days, as deemed necessary and convenient for purposes of public health, safety and welfare. If deemed necessary by the general manager because of continued emergency conditions, the general manager may extend the restrictions for a successive period not to exceed 30 days. No person shall engage in any activity that violates such restrictions.
    Swimming is prohibited within 50 feet of any public boat ramp.
    No person shall anchor any watercraft or construct or maintain any floating or fixed structure on LCRA water that unreasonably prevents, impedes or interferes with safe navigation or access to the water by the public. No person shall construct or maintain in LCRA water any fence or similar device for the purpose of diverting water and/or wind currents or interfere with the normal movement of water and floating debris. All floating or fixed structures of any type on LCRA water shall be adequately marked or lighted so as not to create a safety hazard for the public. This paragraph shall not apply to breakwater structures permitted under the Highland Lakes Marina Ordinance.
    Any excavation, discharge or fill of materials in LCRA water shall be performed in accordance with all applicable regulations and permits of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Fort Worth or Galveston District) and LCRA's Nonpoint-Source Pollution Control Ordinances.
  9. BUOYS
    No person shall place any buoy or marker on LCRA water.
    1. Picnicking and camping are allowed on LCRA land only in those public areas so designated.
    2. No person shall camp on any LCRA land for more than five consecutive days or camp on LCRA land for more than 10 days within any calendar month.
    3. No person shall litter or contaminate any camping, picnic or other areas of LCRA land or LCRA water. Garbage and waste may be disposed of only in trash barrels provided by LCRA. In areas where there are no trash barrels, campers and picnickers shall collect and remove their garbage and waste from LCRA land for lawful disposal.
    4. Campfires are permitted only in established fire rings or in contained camp stoves. During times of extreme fire hazard conditions, the general manager may declare a ban on all ground fires on all or any part of LCRA land, as necessary for purposes of public health, safety and welfare. No person shall light, build or maintain a ground fire on LCRA land while such a ban is in effect. No person shall at any time burn trash, garbage, brush or other refuse on LCRA land.
    5. All pets must be kept on leashes at all times while in the designated camping and picnicking areas; outside the designated camping and picnicking areas, pets must be kept under their owners' direct control. In no case shall a pet be allowed to constitute a nuisance. Livestock shall not be allowed to range or graze on LCRA land. No horses shall be allowed in designated camping or picnicking areas.
    6. No person shall destroy or remove from LCRA land any timber, shrubs, other vegetation, rock, sand, gravel, caliche, or any other substance, material or geologic feature.
    7. No person shall place, construct, erect or occupy any temporary or permanent structure for human habitation or other purposes on LCRA land. This provision does not apply to the use of normal camping equipment. No person shall install or construct an electric, water, wastewater or other utility line or service upon, over or under LCRA land.
    8. No person shall bring or use any glass container on LCRA land.
    9. No person shall cause, create or contribute to excessive noise on LCRA land between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Noise that unreasonably disturbs other visitors is considered excessive. Generators and amplified music shall be turned off between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. 
    10. Public consumption or display of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on LCRA land. Intoxicated persons may not be allowed on LCRA land. Visitors who become intoxicated while on LCRA land may be removed from LCRA land.
    No person shall feed any feral or wild animal on LCRA land. No person shall place, dump, abandon or leave any animal on LCRA lands.
    To ensure the safety and health of the public and to provide for the security, safeguarding and preservation of property and improvements, the general manager is authorized to designate areas of LCRA land from which the public shall be prohibited to enter or in which certain activities shall be prohibited. Such areas shall be clearly marked by signs indicating the prohibition. No person shall enter into such prohibited areas or engage in prohibited activities.
    The transportation, possession or use of firearms, or any other type of weapon, and any and all types of hunting on LCRA land or LCRA water are illegal under state law and are strictly prohibited. No person shall place poisons or mechanical devices such as traps and snares on LCRA land.
    Possession or discharge of fireworks or explosives on LCRA land or LCRA water is prohibited.
    No person shall use or operate a metal detector on LCRA land.
    Archaeological and historical features of every character located in, on or under LCRA land or LCRA water are protected by state law and may not be disturbed or removed without a permit from the Texas Antiquities Committee, or successor agency, and without having obtained prior written permission from LCRA.
    No person shall dump or otherwise dispose of trash, garbage, hazardous materials, unsightly matter, junk, or other solid waste on LCRA land or into LCRA water. No person shall discharge wastewater, sewage, or effluent from holding tanks, sinks, toilets or other plumbing fixtures on LCRA land or in LCRA water. Nonhazardous waste may be disposed of only in designated trash barrels.
    Abandonment of personal property on or in LCRA land or LCRA water is prohibited. Personal property left unattended on or in LCRA land or LCRA water for more than 24 hours shall be considered abandoned property. Abandoned property may be removed and disposed of in any manner deemed appropriate by the general manager. LCRA is not responsible for personal property left on LCRA land or LCRA water.
    Except in special-use areas designated by the general manager, all motor vehicle operation on LCRA land shall be confined to designated roads and parking areas. All motor vehicles operated on LCRA land shall be licensed for street use and shall be operated only by persons with valid driver's licenses in a reasonable and prudent manner to prevent environmental damage and to ensure public safety. No motor vehicle may be operated in excess of a posted speed limit.
    No person shall damage, deface or destroy any LCRA property, including equipment and facilities provided for outdoor recreational purposes. No person shall, in any manner, alter or remove any LCRA sign, survey marker, boundary fence, cross-fence, gate, cattleguard or wire gap. No person shall construct any road, trail, path or other avenue on, over or across LCRA land or cross LCRA land to reach adjacent property.
  21. GROUPS
    Prior written permission shall be obtained from LCRA for any organized group activity on LCRA land involving 20 or more individuals. At the sole discretion of the general manager, a particular site may be designated by LCRA and reserved for any group activity.
    No person shall engage in or solicit any business on LCRA land or LCRA water.
    No commercial notices, signs or advertisements shall be placed on LCRA land. Private messages may be posted only in areas designated by the general manager for such messages.
    In addition to these regulations, LCRA may enact regulations specifically for certain LCRA parks and adjacent LCRA water and may approve park regulations enacted by other political subdivisions for LCRA land leased to them for public parks. In case of conflict between specific park regulations and these general use regulations, the specific park regulations shall govern.
    Except when prohibited by state law, any provision of these regulations may be waived in whole or in part as deemed necessary and appropriate in the sole discretion of the general manager. A waiver shall be evidenced by a permit or other prior written permission issued by the general manager.
    Any person who, without the prior written permission of the general manager, knowingly or intentionally violates or fails to comply with any provision of these regulations is guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, the violator is subject to punishment by a fine not to exceed $500. In addition, such violator(s) may be barred from use of LCRA land and facilities for a period of 30 days for the first offense and 60 days for any subsequent offense.
    1. Floating habitable structures are prohibited within the floodplain of Lake Travis, Lake Marble Falls, Lake LBJ, Lake Inks and Lake Buchanan (collectively, “the Highland Lakes”).
    2. A Grandfathered Floating Habitable Structure is excluded from the prohibition in this Section if it complies with all of the following conditions:
      1. A Grandfathered Floating Habitable Structure must be registered with LCRA within six (6) months after notification by LCRA staff;
      2. A Grandfathered Floating Habitable Structure may not be relocated, replaced, expanded or modified, other than as required for necessary maintenance; and
      3. A Grandfathered Floating Habitable Structure shall comply with all applicable federal, state or local rules and regulations, including any applicable LCRA rules and regulations.
    If any part of these regulations should be held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid or unconstitutional, the validity of the remainder hereof shall not be affected.