What are the park and boat ramp hours?
The official hours of the Park are from Sunrise to Civil Sunset (dark).
Generally speaking it is typically ok to recover your boat after dark as long as you have appropriate lighting. It's not uncommon to see folks recovering their boats at 9 pm, this is usually due to long lines caused by the limited number of spaces.
Are there and specific boat ramp rules?
There are no defined boat ramp rules, but boaters are encouraged to use the boat ramp to load or launch their boats only. DO NOT use the boat ramp to prep your boat. You should enter the ramp as close to launch-ready or recover-ready as possible.
Once your boat is launched, have the boat driver hover in idle away from the launching area to avoid and minimize traffic congestion near the launching area while you park your vehicle.
Once your boat is recovered, loaded and secured to the trailer, quickly pull your boat to a parking spot that is out of the way of other vehicles awaiting their turn at the ramp. Again, the ramp is not a place to unload, load or prepare your boat, trailer and vehicle for the road.
Note that Texas law now requires you to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic species by draining and cleaning your boat. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife water protection page for more information
Common courtesy between boaters is the way we roll in Austin, TX!
Is alcohol allowed?
Public consumption of alcohol is prohibited.
Generally speaking, it is permissible to consume alcohol on your boat as long as you are not intoxicated in the park and are not driving the boat. Glass bottles are NEVER permitted and fines for having bottles are steep.
When I'm in my boat, who patrols the lake?
There is a typically a very noticeable presence by the Austin Police Department Lake Patrol on Lake Austin. Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Wardens also occasionally patrol the lake. Both are a very helpful resource in case you need assistance with your vessel but aren't very forgiving when it comes to violating the rules of the water.
Anytime while boating, there are five pieces of safety equipment that are required to be on your vessel at all times:
- Certificate of Number that is issued by Texas Parks and Wildlife upon registering your boat
- A lifejacket for every person onboard the vessel that is readily accessible. Children under the age of thirteen are required to wear a lifejacket at all times while on a vessel. All persons riding on a personal watercraft (PWC) must wear a lifejacket at all times.
- A Type 4 flotation device must be present onboard all vessels that is readily accessible.
- A sound producing device must be in working condition, whether it be a boat horn or a whistle.
- A fire extinguisher that is fully charged.
If you are stopped and cannot provide any of these 5 items, expect to receive a citation.
It is also a good idea to review the City of Austin's list of ordinances pertaining to watercraft on the Austin area lakes.
If you want to learn more about boating safety, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Boating page
What do I need if I want to fish Lake Austin?
A valid fishing license with a freshwater or saltwater endorsement is required to take fish, mussels, clams, crayfish or other aquatic life in the public waters of Texas. Licenses are easily attainable. Visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Fishing License page for more information.
Any other park rules?
For a list of Travis County park rules visit the Travis County Park Rules and Safety page.
Also visit the list of City of Austin Ordinances that prohibit acts such as bridge jumping and the use of water cannons (yes, there is one) in and around the Austin area lakes.
What are the park fees?
For a list of Travis County park fees, check their fees link. Note that the only acceptable forms of payment are cash and check, no credit or debit cards.