Whether you’re a person looking to get out on the water, an organization with lake-going guests or somewhere in between, staying safe on the water is everyone’s responsibility. Here’s what you need to know about water recreation and safety on the Highland Lakes and along the lower Colorado River.

Be aware

Save a life

Swim safely

  • Never swim alone.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Know when to call it quits. The distance from one object to another can be misleading.
  • The best lifejacket is the one you will wear. Find the U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket that works for you.
  • Swim in designated areas. LCRA Land and Water Use Regulations prohibit swimming within 50 feet of any public boat ramp on the Highland Lakes.
  • Swimming in a river or lake is always a risk. Unlike swimming pools, natural water bodies are not chlorinated or disinfected. Swimmers in the Highland Lakes should cover their noses when jumping into the water to reduce potential exposure to the Naegleria fowleri amoeba. For more information about primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), see the Texas Department of State Health Services Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis FAQs or the Centers for Disease Control Naegleria fowleri webpage.

Boat responsibly

Check the status of your favorite boat ramps on the Highland Lakes and lakes Bastrop and Fayette. If you are using an unfamiliar ramp, watch for trees, rocks and sudden drop-offs.

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.

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.


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