People drawn to Lake Travis amid coronavirus outbreak

With lake weather in full swing, many were drawn to Lake Travis this weekend. 

“This weekend you sort of see a lot more boats, a lot more recreational boat activity. Everybody’s kind of coming out of the woodwork, there’s pent up demand,” said Robert Weiss of Lake Travis Scuba. 

Boater Cameron Davis understands the “pent up demand.” 

“Especially since you’ve been working from home, you know you’re just cooped up in your house you kind of just need to be active and do something,” he said. 

Still, confusion remains as to whether boating is allowed. 

Friday, Travis County extended it's stay-at-home work safe orders. They say boating is generally not allowed unless it’s for some sort of essential activity. Lakeway's Mayor also says boaters should abide by the county’s orders. 

Kristen Dark, senior PIO for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, which is in charge of lake patrol, told FOX 7 Austin the sheriff’s office treats the lake the same way they treat roadways. For example, deputies are not pulling over cars to ask people if they’re related or if their travel is essential. Dark, said the sheriff’s office will educate people on the orders if they pull them over for an unrelated offense. 

“You can definitely tell that a lot of these boats are not doing the social distancing that they should be doing. You can see like a lot of boats down there -- they tied up like four boats in a row probably like 25 - 30 people altogether,” said Austin Burmester. 

On the contrary, was Terry Carpenter. He spent the day out on the lake with just his wife.

“Obviously we don’t put anybody on the boat other than immediate family that we’re around at the house anyway, so it’s a safe activity that you can do and not feel like you’re penned in,” he said. 

Though boaters may be pressing on, things are a bit dicier for businesses. Saturday would have been opening day at Waterloo Adventures. But, the uncertainty has them closed until the end of the month. 

“We thought that it was better to push things back,” explained GM Wade McNeill. Adding “We are doing it safely and we’re taking precautions and making sure that we observe social distancing as well as disinfecting and being cautious .”



FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.

You can watch live in your FOX 7 Austin app or on the FOX 7 Austin Facebook page.

You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at