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Counties
Burnet, Travis
Region
Hill Country
Nearby
Lakes
Lake Travis
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Lake Travis & Mansfield Dam Information:
The 18,622 surface acre Lake Travis was formed by the 1937-1942 construction of the Mansfield Dam on the Colorado River. The dam was built across a deep canyon at Marshall Ford, a longtime river crossing and settlement. The lake was impounded in 1942. It is 63.75 miles long, has 270 miles of shoreline, is 4.5 miles at its maximum width, and has a maximum depth of 190 feet. Mansfield Dam and Lake Travis are the only structures in the Highland Lakes chain specifically designed to contain floodwaters in the lower Colorado River basin. The lake can store as much as 260 billion gallons of floodwaters, helping to prevent flooding downstream. Lake Travis does not look like a traditional lake. Instead it looks like an extremely extra-wide Colorado River with many horseshoe shaped bends. This shape makes lake locations confusing unless one looks at a lake map. This Lake Travis map from Google begins at the town of Lakeway. Scroll the map to the right (east) or west (left) to find various lake locations and their position in relation to each other. Lake towns on the south side of the lake (from west to east) include Spicewood, Briarcliff, Lakeway, Hudson Bend, and Marshall Ford. Towns located on the north side of the lake (from west to east) include Lago Vista, Point Venture and Volente. Jonestown is located north of Lake Travis and Volente is located on the Sandy Creek Arm of Lake Travis. The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) manages the lower Colorado River, Lake Travis and the other Highland Lakes. The 266 foot tall Mansfield Dam is located on FM 620 on the east end of the lake.  
Lake Travis Area Map
Current Lake Travis Lake Level
TPWD Lake Travis Public Access Facilities Map
Highland Lakes Boat Ramp Openings and Closings
 
Colorado River:
The Colorado River is the largest of the rivers that exist wholly in Texas. The river rises in intermittent draws in northeastern Dawson County and flows generally southeastward for 600 miles before it bends to the east across southern Burnet County and continues its southeastern course across Travis, Bastrop, Payette, Colorado, Wharton, and Matagorda Counties to its mouth on Matagorda Bay near Palacios, Texas. Major towns on its route include Austin, Lamesa, Colorado City, Robert Lee, Ballinger, Paint Rock, Marble Falls, Bastrop, Smithville, La Grange, Columbus, Wharton, Bay City and Matagorda. Important reservoirs (lakes) on the Colorado include Lake J.B. Thomas, E.V. Spence Reservoir, Buchanan Lake, Inks Lake, Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake (Town Lake) in Austin; the latter 7 lakes are known as the Highland Lakes. Early in the 19th century the river’s slow current caused the formation of a raft, or a log jam, which gradually grew upstream so that the river was navigable in 1839 for only ten miles above its mouth. By 1858 the situation in Matagorda and Wharton counties had become so bad that the state appropriated funds for the construction of a new channel around the raft; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers opened the channel in the mid-1800s, but it was not maintained so the raft filled it up. After the Civil War the Colorado ceased to be a factor in transportation. The delta that developed after removal of the log jam in 1925, reached across Matagorda Bay as far as Matagorda Peninsula by 1936. In 1936 a channel was dredged through the new delta from the Gulf of Mexico to the town of Matagorda, thus forcing the river to deposit its flotsam and sediment directly into the Gulf. With the removal of the raft, the seaport town of Matagorda gradually became landlocked. The present Caney Creek channel was the original channel of the Colorado River until approximately a thousand years ago. The Lower, Central, and Upper Colorado River Authorities are the three agencies that oversee the conservation of and use of the Colorado River.  Fish Stocking History
 
Pedernales River:
The river rises from springs in the southeastern corner of Kimble County and flows northeast for 106 miles, crossing Gillespie, Blanco, and Hays Counties, to its mouth on Lake Travis near Briarcliff in western Travis County, a short distance southwest of Pace Bend Park. The terrain near the river is flat to rolling with local escarpments, and its fine sandy loams support the juniper, bald cypress, mesquite, and grasses characteristic of the Texas Hill Country. Pedernales is the Spanish term for the flint rocks that characterize the riverbed. The upper reaches of the Pedernales River are generally too shallow for recreational use, but the middle and lower reaches of the river provide good white water, especially during periods of high runoff. The three parks located on the river include Pedernales Falls State Park, LBJ National Historic Park, and Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. The Pedernales has been dammed near Johnson City to form Johnson City Lake.  Fish Stocking History
 
Cow Creek:
The creek rises miles southeast of Burnet and flows southeast for 21 miles to its mouth on Lake Travis, a mile up lake from Lago Vista, Texas.
 
Historic 1863 Anderson’s Grist Mill, Anderson Mill, TX:
The original mill was located on Cypress Creek and was named for Thomas Anderson who arrived in Texas in the late 1850s. In the early 1860s, he built the mill to make gun powder for the Confederacy. When the war was over he converted it to a grist mill. Farmers came from miles around to grind their corn, sometimes waiting several days for their turn. By 1884, the community had a post office, a cotton gin and approximately 30 residents. The post office closed later that year; mail was sent to Duval. The development of steam-powered mills and gins gradually forced Anderson out of business. After his death in 1894, his family sold the equipment and moved to Austin. A historical marker was placed near the mill site in 1936. The original mill was inundated by the waters of Lake Travis. Sometimes during droughts, the mill reemerges. The Anderson Mill Garden Club maintains a replica of the mill and a museum which houses artifacts from the original 150 year mill. The museum is open for tours on the 4th Sunday of the months of March through October, 2pm-5pm; group tours are available by appointment. (512) 258-2613. The museum is located at 13974 FM 2769 (Volente Road), 4.6 miles southeast of Cedar Park, 12 miles southeast of Jonestown, and 8.2 miles northeast of Volente, Texas. Email 
 
Starnes (Rattlesnake) Island:
The island is a favorite swimming sites and features a scuba diving wall dive to depths of 100 feet. It is located across from Volente Beach Water Park.  Starnes Island when it was just a Hill