LCRA to lower Lake LBJ, Lake Austin in 2017

Most of Lake Austin was reopened on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Sean Farrar)
Most of Lake Austin was reopened on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 (KXAN Photo/Sean Farrar)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Homeowners along Lake Austin and Lake LBJ will get a chance to repair and maintain their property along the shoreline when the Lower Colorado River Authority lowers the lake levels in early 2017.

Since the Highland Lakes are basically full, the LCRA says now is the time where they can actually release water downstream. By lowering lake levels, property owners can do repair and maintenance work on their docks and retaining walls.

“It’s been years since we’ve lowered any of the Highland Lakes,” said John Hofmann, LCRA executive vice president of Water, in a press release.

On Lake LBJ, LCRA will lower it about 4 feet from about Jan. 2, 2017 to Feb. 13, 2017. Water released from Lake LBJ will be held in Lake Travis until it is needed.

On Lake Austin, LCRA will lower it about 10 feet during the same time period. Lowering Lake Austin may take two to three weeks because instead of water being released through the dam, LCRA will allow levels to gradually fall by not sending water downstream from Lake Travis. The lower lake levels will also help with the control of hydrilla and watermilfoil.

The drawdown on Lake Austin in early 2017 is expected to be the last opportunity for a lowering on Lake Austin for several years because of an upcoming LCRA project to strengthen and modernize floodgates on Tom Miller Dam. The lake will remain within its normal operating range during the gate rehabilitation project for safety and accessibility, and to minimize delays during the anticipated five-year project.

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