When in Austin, you will at one point or another arrive at this destination, Lady Bird Lake. But how much about the lake do you actually know? Would you like to know more? Well, here at 10 facts about the lake that you probably did not know!
1 – Town Lake (now known as Lady Bird Lake) was formed in 1960 when the City Of Austin built the Longhorn Damm.
2 – The city prohibits most gas-powered watercraft on the lake. Making it a popular attraction for paddleboards, kayaks, dragon boats, and canoes. Those bat-watching boats you see, they’re electric.
3 – Despite being allowed to use the lake to kayak or paddleboard, it’s actually illegal to swim in it due to poor water quality caused by city water run-offs and debris in the water from the bridges (guano).
4 – From 1990 to 1999, it was illegal to consume fish from the lake due to high levels of chlordane found in the water. A chemical that was used in farm crops, which got banned in the U.S. in 1988, but the residue polluted the soil in water for over a decade.
5 – The lake served as means to provide fresh water to the city from 1925 to 2008 after the Thomas C. Green Water Treatment Plant was decommissioned.
6 – The City of Austin passed the resolution to change the name of Town Lake to Lady Bird Lake on July 26, 2007, in honor of Lady Bird Johnson who had just passed away earlier that month. She dedicated her life since the 70s to the upkeep of the lake and spent thousands of her own money to keep the lake clean.
7 – Since 2009, a non-profit organization called Keep Austin Beautiful launched “Clean Lady Bird Lake”. A program where volunteers gather every other month to help clean the lake. Check the comment section to find out when the next clean-up day will be.
8 – Lady Bird Lake is known for being a great place to fish and release largemouth bass. Some fisherman reported catching as many as 30 fish in one day, with many of them being 2 or 3 pounds.
9 – The maximum recorded depth of the lake is 18ft.
10 – The surface of the lake covers over 416 acres (186 ha).
Did learn something new? Share with friends and family, but most importantly, head down to the lake and have some fun outside!