Water recreation and safety

Water safety advisory: Avoid muddy, leaf-covered areas of the Highland Lakes

Recent rains that raised lake levels also brought debris and other matter into the Highland Lakes. Swimmers and boaters should avoid muddy areas of the lakes, or any area covered with leaves or other debris, where bacteria levels are typically higher. Unlike swimming pools, natural bodies of water such as the Highland Lakes are not chlorinated or disinfected, so swimming in a river, lake or pond always carries some risk of exposure to bacteria. Bacteria levels generally return to more normal levels a few weeks after the last rainfall.


LCRA lakes, parks and river sites are ideal for fun-filled outdoor activities in Central and South Texas. Enjoy boating, water skiing, canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, fishing, swimming, hiking, nature photography, picnicking, bird-watching and camping.
For more information on safely recreating on LCRA waters and at its parks, visit the sections below:

  • Boating rules and safety
    Get important tips and regulations on operating boats and other watercraft on the Highland Lakes.
  • Safe swimming tips
    Learn how to avoid the risks associated with swimming in open water.

LCRA boat dock and marina standards help ensure public safety when navigating the lakes and maintain high levels of water quality for all lake users.

Rare Water Recreation Illness

Read more about a rare but often deadly infection, primary amebic meningoencephalitis (or PAM), and guidelines for prevention.



Did you know?

  • LCRA owns about 13,300 acres of parkland between the Texas Hill Country and Matagorda Bay.
  • LCRA managed lakes include Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis and Lakes Bastrop and Fayette.
  • The most popular lake, Lake Travis, attracts about 1 million visitors a year.
  • The LCRA's Colorado River Trail, developed in cooperation with neighboring communities, also links recreational, cultural and environmental features of 11 counties near and along the river.