Will lower water levels of Lake Travis impact boating this summer?

Weather & Traffic Q&As

VOLENTE, Texas (KXAN) — Central Texas is in drought with little sign of much rain in the near term.

As our days get longer and hotter, you may be drawn out to any one of the Highland Lakes.

Unlike Lady Bird Lake or Lake Austin, water levels in Lake Travis constantly fluctuate based on rainfall. Since we’ve been dry lately, the level of Lake Travis has dropped, but not a lot.

The last time Lake Travis was full was in October of 2018, but right now water levels are a little more than 11 feet below average, so it’s hardly noticeable.

Just because you can see exposed limestone doesn’t mean there’s going to be a problem when you go out boating. There’s plenty of water to go around.

“There’s no shortage of areas for people to go if they want to swim with their family or they want to sail or they want to surf, there’s plenty of room out here. It’s huge,” said Rett Scudder, the Owner of Beach Front Boat Rentals in Volente.

For Scudder, he has to battle the perception that less rain means less fun on the water.

“It’s super deep so if you stay boating in the middle of the river, or the middle 80-90% of the lake you’re fine. When you get towards the edges, which is the flooded part that was created by the dam in 1942 is where you get shallow water,” Scudder said.

That shallow water may mean you’re more at risk of hitting a tree stump or rock, but boating at idle speeds where that water isn’t as deep is always a good idea.

Last year Scudder’s business was about 20% of normal due to COVID-19, but so far this spring is as busy as it was prior to the pandemic, and he’s optimistic for the warmer months.

Scudder emphasized, “I think it will be a busy summer. There’s a lot of pent-up energy for people wanting to be outside.”

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