With the drought over lakes are drawn down

For the first time since the end of the drought, the water level is being lowered on Lake LBJ and Lake Austin.

The drawdown started Monday morning with water passing through Tom Miller dam. The level was still high enough for Jim Bowie and his friend to get their boat into Lake Austin.

" Yes sir, get some fish and get it over with, and then wait for to come back up," said Bowie.

The water in Lake Austin is being lowered 10 feet. The last time LCRA did a drawdown here was back in 2011. Dock owners will have six weeks to make repairs and clean up, before the lake is refilled February 13th.

Deborah Smith and her husband brought their kayaks Monday morning while the paddling and weather were still good.

"Oh sure it's a pretty winter day so it's an opportunity to get out on the water," said Smith.

All work on lake Austin must first go through an approval process with the city.

LCRA is also lowering the water level on Lake LBJ - it hasn't Happened here since 2008 because of the drought. Some residents, like Rita Feik, are  curious as to just what they may find.

"You never know what you are going to find, you just never know. I've seen everything out there especially after we have had mild little tornadoes or whatever, and you'll find sheds, God only knows what, lounge chairs," said Feik.

Lake LBJ is shallow and will only be lowered 4 feet. But there's almost a decade of muck and sediment on the rocky bottom. That's going to require a considerable effort to remove but Homer Ahr says he has called in back up."

"I got my whole family geared up to go clean out around my boat dock and everything, we've been waiting for eight years to do this, and so yeah, they are on the hook, if they want to come and use the Lakehouse they are going to have to help me clean up," said Ahr.

Work permits are not required for dock repairs along Lake LBJ - but officials with LCRA say dredging and retaining wall projects must go through a registration process.

A small amount of water will be allowed to continue to flow downstream during the drawdown. If mother nature cooperates Lake Austin and Lake LBJ will be full again by Valentine's Day. River managers warn the lakes could also fill up sooner than expected if a major storm moves in. That's why it's advised that  repair crews not leave anything along the shoreline.

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