Lake Travis hits record-low water levels - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Lake Travis hits record-low water levels

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Lake Travis is now at a stage not seen since the drought of 1963-64. Walk along the expanding shoreline between the rocks and scrub grass you might spot an old boat that was once submerged for a dive park.

It's also hard to miss the barricades that now block access to public boat ramps. Despite the bleak scene-marinas and boat rental shops are busy this holiday weekend.

"The water being down hasn't affected us at all this year; things are running pretty normal all of our boats are booked," said Just for Fun Operations Manager Hawkeye Roth.

The rental store has to turn people away or suggest they book a boat for another day.

Lake Travis is designed to rise and fall between wet and dry periods. Video recorded in late June shows how the massive lake now appears to be creeping back into its original Colorado River channel.

Typically, the section of land, known as Sometimes Island- is lurking just below the surface of the water. Now it is more like a spot for hiking.

"We're not at the lowest level Lake Travis has been, but it is low, in fact it's about 14 feet below what it's was last July 4th, so if you were out on the Lake last year and come back this year you are at a different lake," said LCRA Spokesperson Clara Tuma.

From the LCRA point of view, the situation should be put into a larger historical perspective.

The lowest recorded lake level- at 614 feet- dates back to in 1951 - followed by 615 feet in 1963. The current level is dropping below 626 feet which is considered the third lowest on record and set last year.

However, the gap between the second and third lowest levels Tuma says is why the agency is not in a crisis mode.

"There is still a lot of water in Lake Travis, combined Lake Travis and Lake Buchanan are 37% full, that's a lot of water. That can be misleading when you look out there and you see shoreline that wasn't there, and see boulders that weren't there last year but there are parts of Lake Travis that are more than 100 feet deep. So don't get fooled that an empty lake there is still a lot of water there," said Tuma.

However, without substantial rain later this summer and fall the lake could also begin to look more and more like the river of old.

 

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