Personal watercraft banned on Lake Austin for Memorial Day weekend

Personal watercraft will be prohibited on Lake Austin for Memorial Day weekend, says Austin Police Department Lake Patrol Unit.

The ban will begin at sunset on Friday, May 27 and remain in effect until Tuesday, May 31. 

APD Lake Patrol will enforce City Ordinance 8-5-81 that prohibits personal watercraft, including the use of wet bikes, jet skis, motorized surfboards and similar devices. The ban only applies to Lake Austin.

The Ordinance states kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards are still permitted to be used, along with watercraft designed for the conventional manner of sitting or standing.

APD says this annual ban is necessary to ensure the safety of the many people using the lake and parks for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Police will be patrolling the lake, and urge those using waterways to follow the Texas Water Safety Act and City of Austin boating laws and ordinances. All boaters are encouraged to practice safe boating and call 911 for emergencies and any reckless operations of boats. 

Read the full ordinance below: 


     (A) A person may not use or possess a jet ski, wet bike, motorized surfboard, or similar device on Lake Austin:

          (1) from sunset on the Friday before Memorial Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Memorial Day;

          (2) from sunset on the Friday before Labor Day until sunrise on the Tuesday after Labor Day; or

          (3) from sunset on July 3 until sunrise on July 5.

     (B) A person operating a motorboat on Lake Austin shall stay on the right side of the lake, except when assisting a downed water skier.

     (C) A person may not operate a watercraft on Lake Austin at a speed that is greater than reasonable and prudent under the existing circumstances.

Source: 1992 Code Section 14-2-1; Ord. 031009-11; Ord. 031211-11.