TPWD District Fisheries Office

505 Staples Road
San Marcos, Texas 78666
(512) 353-0072
Patrick Ireland, Biologist

About the Area

Lake Austin

Quick Links: Fishing Regulations | Angling Opportunities | Cover & Structure | Tips & Tactics

BOATER ADVISORY: Zebra mussels have invaded this reservoir! CLEAN, DRAIN AND DRY your boat, trailer, livewells/bait buckets, and other gear before traveling to another water body. Draining water is required by law and possession and transport of zebra mussels is illegal.

Lake Characteristics

Location: On the Colorado River in the City of Austin
Surface area: 1,599 acres
Maximum depth: 75 feet
Impounded: 1939

Water Conditions

Current Lake Level
Conservation Pool Elevation: 491.95 ft. msl
Fluctuation: Constant-level lake; however, may fluctuate slightly with releases from Lake Travis upstream
Normal Clarity: Clear to slightly stained

Reservoir Controlling Authority

Lower Colorado River Authority
3700 Lake Austin Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78703
(512) 473-3200 or 1(800) 776-5272

Aquatic Vegetation

Watermilfoil and pondweed

Predominant Fish Species

Lake Records
Current Fishing Report
Stocking History
Latest Survey Report

Lake Maps

No contour map is available for this reservoir. A general information map is available from sporting goods and tackle stores under the name Highland Lakes South. Satellite images of the reservoir are available online at

Fishing Regulations

All species are currently managed with statewide regulations. As of September 1, 2016, the Triploid Grass Carp Permit for this lake is no longer in effect. Anglers may retain grass carp, provided they have been gutted or beheaded.

Angling Opportunities

Lake Austin contains an excellent population of largemouth bass bass with the potential for a trophy. Many bass weighing 8-10 pounds are caught each year. The reservoir also has some good quality bluegill, redbreast, and redear fishing, and has low-density populations of flathead and blue catfish. Fishing during the summer months is best done at night due to heavy recreational boating activity in the daytime. Anglers should use caution when fishing at night.

Species Poor Fair Good Excellent
Largemouth Bass       yes
Catfish   yes    
Sunfish     yes  
Fishing Cover/Structure

Several major creeks enter the lake including Bee Creek near the Tom Miller Dam and Bull Creek near the 360 bridge crossing. Underwater brush piles have been placed in strategic locations to attract and provide cover for fish. Cover is also provided by boulders or rock slides off bluffs and the many boat docks that line the shore of the lake.

Use the Habitat Structure Viewer for an interactive map of fish habitat structures and downloadable GPS coordinates.

Tips & Tactics

Largemouth bass anglers should concentrate their efforts in and along the edges of weed beds that line the shoreline when available. During the summer months (especially on weekends) pleasure boating activity on this reservoir makes fishing from a boat difficult, if not impossible. Anglers should plan trips early in the morning or at night this time of year. Because of the clear water conditions this can be an excellent night fishing lake for bass. Casting white spinnerbaits and topwaters or pitching jigs with heavy bait casting tackle to the weed beds and boat docks often works well. Other popular artificial lures include plastic worms and jerkbaits. For live-bait fishing try minnows suspended under corks along the weedlines. Sight fishing also works well during the spring spawn which occurs February through April, depending on the weather. Because cold water is released from Lake Travis just upstream, bass will spawn later in the year on the upper end of the lake. Look for them in the backs of major creeks, around marinas and in the numerous boat bays that line the lake. Panfishing can also be good along the edge of the weedlines and woody debris using small tube jigs or crickets on light spinning tackle, or small poppers with a fly rod.