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Here’s why you can’t swim in Lady Bird Lake. Wait — you can’t swim in Lady Bird Lake?

Posted: Tue, 8 Aug 2017 10:10 AM - 387 Readers

By: Amanda O'Donnell



photo courtesy of The Daily Texan

But what if you fall off your paddle board?

No, not even then are you legally permitted to swim in Lady Bird Lake. In case you’re not a longtime Austin resident, or in case you are but never knew about this rule, swimming in Lady Bird Lake has been banned since 1964.

KUT took a look into the matter and found that you’re only allowed to swim in the lake if you are “rescuing someone, doing construction authorized by the city or swimming in a permitted event.” Doesn’t sound like you after you fall off your paddle board, does it?

And that’s been the rule for more than 50 years.

Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department provided two reasons for the ban to KUT: a combination of poor water quality and the danger posed by debris leftover from bridges and dams.

KUT also found that a series of drowning deaths in the ’50s and ’60s, including two young sisters who waded into a 20-foot pit, led to Austin City Council passing the ordinance.

Swimming in the lake these days can result in a $500 fine. If you’re looking to swim, but also not break the law, explore our map of Central Texas swimming holes. And try really, really hard to stay on your paddle board.


*  Story Contributed by: Amanda O'Donnell



[edit]



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