Recreation and Safety - LCRA Recreation and Safety - LCRA

Be LakeWise

What to know about water recreation and safety on the Highland Lakes

Be aware

  • Lakes are not swimming pools. The bottom of a lake is uneven and sudden drop-offs are common.
  • Know the hazards. Watch for buoys, channel markers and objects below the surface of the water, such as debris, trees, rocks and other items.
  • Watch out for one another in and around the water. It only takes a second for someone to find themselves in trouble.

Know how to help


Recognize the signs of someone in trouble.


Provide flotation.


Rescue and remove the person from the water without putting yourself in danger.


Provide emergency care and seek medical services, if needed.

Swim safely

Boat responsibly

Buoys and markers

Buoys and markers are water traffic signs offering direction and information. They also help identify dangerous areas and restricted zones.

Mile or channel markers are installed on the main channel of the Colorado River on lakes Buchanan, LBJ and Travis. The river channel is not marked on other Highland Lakes. Mile or channel markers are sequentially numbered starting at the dam and are spaced about a mile apart.

Controlled area

No fishing, no anchoring. There may be water-skiers. Slow down so as to not create a wake.

Boaters keep out!

Written description of danger may be displayed outside the crossed diamond, e.g., dam, water intake, swim area or rapids.


Written description of danger may be displayed outside the diamond shape, e.g., rocks, stumps, hazards or shallow areas.

Green “can”-shaped buoy

Facing upstream, these green buoys are on the left of the channel. They have odd numbers and may have a green light on top.

Red “nun’s cap”-shaped buoy

Facing upstream, these buoys are on the right of the channel. They have even numbers and may have a red light on top.

It is illegal to attach any watercraft to a buoy or marker, or to move, remove, displace, tamper with, damage or destroy any buoy or marker. To report problems with mile or channel markers or buoys, call LCRA Water Surface Management at 800-776-5272, ext. 4783.



For use outdoors
Swim safely 2×3’ | 3×4.5’
Swim safely (add logo) 2×3’ | 3×4.5’
Boating tips 2×3’ | 3×4.5’
Boating tips (add logo) 2×3’ | 3×4.5’