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HB226

Lake Travis, Texas

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I might relocate to the Austin area and my new lake would be Lake Travis as well as the river and other bodies of water. Anyone have opinions on boating on Lake Travis? We went out on someone else's boat for a couple of hours and explored maybe two miles. I didn't see good shoreline or sandy beaches or coves like you would in Havasu. Some fish kept biting (nibbling) my wife and I know we wouldn't like that. Then the people we were with said to Google Aligator Gars and I know I don't want to see one of those, they get like 10 feet! Is this lake dangerous? Do we need to be battle ready for dangerous critters at all times? I haven't read about anyone going missing. Any opinions would be appreciated, thank you.

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Google Lake Travis, pretty big party/raft up lake. Home of Dell Computers, so there's some money floating around there somewhere!

After spending 15 years in New Orleans and always being on the water, I can tell you for a fact that Alligator Gars will not approach or hurt you on purpose. I've run over a bunch of them skiing because they surface a lot and anchored in their waters, never an issue or incident to report.

That said, you do need to watch out for the Loc Ness monster and Big Foot

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That said, you do need to watch out for the Loc Ness monster and Big Foot

ha ha, of course, always and piranha could even be in Havasu, boating is always exciting

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My first post here.

As I type this I am looking out onto Lake Travis. It is a beautiful, Hill Country lake. 63 miles long. lots of protective coves to anchor, lots of shoreline to explore. Plenty of drive-up restaurants. great fishing. Alligator Gar? Never seen one. catfish and black bass rule. I have owned three boats on Lake Travis....two Sea Rays and one Chris Craft. My next boat will be a Chaparral.

Apparently you cannot post pics on this forum?

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My first post here.

As I type this I am looking out onto Lake Travis. It is a beautiful, Hill Country lake. 63 miles long. lots of protective coves to anchor, lots of shoreline to explore. Plenty of drive-up restaurants. great fishing. Alligator Gar? Never seen one. catfish and black bass rule. I have owned three boats on Lake Travis....two Sea Rays and one Chris Craft. My next boat will be a Chaparral.

Apparently you cannot post pics on this forum?

Welcome to the group......... :oregonian_winesmiley:

Pictures have to go threw "photobucket.com".

.

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Lake Travis has been down about 50 feet until only recently, now it's only 9ft below full pool. It's a great lake to play in or on. There are several other "lakes" in the area, Lake LBJ, Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Marble Falls.

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I've been on Travis for almost 10 yrs. Only gar I've ever seen came up at a lakeside restaurant to grab a duckling. Which drove the little kids feeding the ducks to tears, but, hey, everybody's got to eat. :) Never had fish come up and nibble at us. Seen one snake in 10 years and that was way north (cattle and pasture country). We raft up, or just tie off the floats and hang out. This 4th of July, fireworks were great and well attended.

Sandy beaches -- not too many. There are a number of parks along the lake which do have gentle slopes down to beaches, but they largely don't allow boats to beach or anchor close enough to be considered "at the beach," (Windy Point, Pace Bend Park, etc.).

Coves -- plenty. Some are party coves (Devil's Cove), where the college kids and the go-fasts hang on the weekend, and others, further north and west, are quieter (Cow Creek is further north), very quiet, little waterfall, and lots of folks just go up there to be on the hook. The issue with the coves right now is that after 6-7 years of low water level, they are now longer, but covering some pretty good growth of salt cedar groves -- a small tree or bush that can get tall, but is very thin and soft. If you do get in amongst them they won't do any damage and they will be gone by this winter after being submerged this year. We have been in several coves this spring and summer with no issues.

The lake is pretty deep (160-190 toward the dam) and the banks are usually steep. I use my Garmin and depth gauge to find places to anchor, but be prepared sometimes to use a lot of rode. Most of the time I am anchored at 15-30 feet.

There are some good restaurants along the lake -- not as many as before the drought that drove some out of business. But I would think that after this year and the recent projections for wetter 2015 and 2016 they will come back.

Travis is one of five "Highland Lakes" which are sections of the Colorado River that are dammed up. LBJ and Buchanan are the other two larger lakes. They are shallower with more gradual slopes, so you can get lots of beach time up there if you are willing to trailer up. Buchanan and Travis are variable level lakes in the chain. LBJ, Inks, Marble Falls, and Lake Austin are all kept at constant level.

Lakes are managed by the Lower Colorado River Authority. Their website is very useful to keep up with conditions at all the lakes. http://www.lcra.org/water/Pages/default.aspx

As for people going missing, there are two or three drownings a year, it seems. Most are males, between 16-40, who are partying with a group, dive in or slide off of a party barge, and don't come up. Last tragedy was a month or so ago: a 15 year old girl at a wakeboard camp who was hanging on the swim platform of the boat with the engine running (stationary) and succumbed to carbon monoxide, lost consciousness, and slipped under. Given the number of boats on the lake, I think it's pretty safe. Never seen a collision on the lake proper (seen some bumps and grinds in marinas or restaurant slips). Have seen some collisions with the banks, but that usually happened as the lake was drawing down boats were taking the old "shortcut" out of the channel, that wasn't a shortcut anymore.

Law enforcement on the lake is a matter for the county sheriff (Travis County for most of the lake and others further north), LCRA has their own enforcement arm, and Texas Parks and Wildlife. They are usually pretty active, and also pretty professional.

If you do come out, contact me and I'll give you another tour and show you more of the lake. We can go with my next door neighbor who moved here also from Huntington Beach. You guys can do the Cali to Texas secret handshake.

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tanker thank you very much, really useful information and I would like to meet the neighbor for sure. Stimulus Package welcome. When we were there a few weeks ago they told me 150 people per day are moving from California. Before I left my banker told me a lot of money is moving from Orange County to Texas along with some big corps like Snapple and Toyota so I am not a one off punished by the Pope :) I am part of a wave I think.

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The Toyota move to north Texas has already drove the housing market nuts. Houses only stay on the market a couple of weeks and sell for more than asking price.

The area around Austin is really nice.

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My ex's daughter and her husband moved to Austin some years back. She got a job as a bartender...met some local cowboy and left her husband and married the dude.....said something about things ARE bigger in Texas???

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To paraphrase, "you can't swing a dead cat around here without hitting a transplanted Californian." Great people all, but you can see some changes. There's a lot more vineyards and wine drinkers around here now.

Austin is generally a little island of blue, Democratic, "progressives" in a sea of red Texas conservatives.

Way out in west Texas you can see pickup trucks at isolated intersections at 6:00 in the morning. ranchers who drive their kids 30 minutes to the school bus stop to meet the bus, then the kids ride another hour to get to school (and still play six-man football). Here in some gated communities, mom or dad will drive the golf cart down the street 100 yards to pick up snowflake as s/he gets off the bus.

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What is ironic to me is being from Orange County California where "OC" is like a dot of red in a sea of blue we instantly saw Austin and Lakeway as what OC used to be. Admittedly we are guilty of coddling our kids and not letting nature take it's course like was the way when I was a kid in OC but we will learn to do better. We like beer, guns and barbq so lets see if we can blend in without looking too out of place. I don't know about all of Texas but I do like Austin. I know I don't like all of California for sure. It is easy to see locals aren't missing the fact that California seems to be moving to Texas by the droves. I plan to rent my Huntington Beach home for stupid money because until the water is gone our housing market is going nuts and buy a second home somewhere outside of Austin as I follow a job offer. First we thought Lakeway but as we learn more maybe not. Still learning.

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HB226,

Been on Lk Travis since we moved back to TX in 1998 from Ontario, CAN. Kansas City before that, Atlanta GA previously after growing up on a river in CT surrounded by boat yards. Boats have been in my blood for years. DSC01529_zps0c0c07a0.jpgNet/Net, you'll like love it. Have seen Travis closed due to flooding and been through the drought years most recently. The surrounding lakes also provide options as long as you have a good trailer that will accommodate our "hill country" roads." Not too many "beaches" but plenty of coves w/sand bottoms for secure hooking. Above posts are accurate, some restaurants never closed, some are reopening but our favorite - Cafe Blue - remains dark.

Hope these pix give you a feel for what you about to enjoy:

DSC01531_zps11b3b4ef.jpg

Hookup080213_zpscdc8ab4c.jpg

That's my '07 Chap 330 2nd from the left surrounded by a Meridan 391, SR 540, SR 340 & SR 320.

Feel free to PM me - we're out there, somewhere, almost every weekend from Friday afternoon thru Sunday - on the Hook or in our slip.

I used to have an office in Seal Beach and enjoyed Walt's Wharf, Oysters and Hennessy's......M²

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We were just talking about Walt's Wharf yesterday on our drive back from Havasu as THE place for clam chowder. I plan on having lunch there today. Your line up of boats looks like a boat show, what a line up. Can't wait to get my dingy out there but first some repairs I will mention in another thread.

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Well we did it. I am in a house in Hudson Bend on the lake. I walk about 100 yards to the shore. So far I am still on a trailer because I have a huge asphalt spread around all sides of this property. The back towards the shore has a football size lawn with a giant BARBQ pad and then down to the dock that my friend/landlord/neighbor has. I am shopping for a house anywhere but Hudson Bend but in and around Travis. I'm still learning the area and I haven't decided if I am cashing out of HB or leasing. Great deal for a first stop getting the month to month why we pick. Been here about three months and hauled my boat here only about three weeks ago. Been launching at Mansfield Dam every weekend since which has me in the water 20 minutes from my driveway. So much lake, so many lakes, so much to learn. We are really enjoying Austin, just made our first brisket last weekend. So far this change has been a great adventure but it is early with much more to come. Pictures to follow once I stop and take some.

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Good to know you are adjusting well. We'll be at our slip in Sandy Creek Yacht Club as usual Friday afternoon.

SR 540 is moored on our left, Meridan 391 is moored on our right. Stop by......M²

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Looks like a Blast!!! Lake front living...You did wel. I take it the repairs came out $^$& on your boat after the Havasu sitiation...Glad and happy for you bro!!

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