People who do not care enough about the Local Environment to dispose of the waste they create properly disgust me. The pollution problem in Lady Bird Lake has been goig o for decades. This is an easy problem to solve. All that needs to happen is people need to care and take action. I see it all the time; people just taking their trash and throwing it out the car window or dropping it wherever they are.

This trash ends up in the rivers and floats up against the shoreline. What a pity we could all live in a much more beautiful place if people would do just the simplest thing… give a shit! If you have never been to Lady Bird Lake in Austin (It’s super close to Downtown) then read on to learn more.

Lady Bird Lake Austin Texas
Lady Bird Lake Austin Texas

What is Lady Bird Lake?

Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas

Lady Bird Lake is a reservoir on the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. It is a popular spot for recreation, including biking, running, swimming, boating, and fishing. The lake is also home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and turtles.

How Lady Bird Lake Began

Lady Bird Lake was originally called Town Lake. It was created in 1960 when the Longhorn Dam was built to provide a cooling pond for the Holly Power Plant. The dam blocked the flow of the Colorado River, creating a reservoir that is now 468 acres in size.

Activities on Lady Bird Lake

There are many different activities that people can enjoy on Lady Bird Lake. Some of the most popular activities include:

  • Hiking and biking: The Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail is a 10-mile trail that circles the lake. It is a popular spot for people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors.
  • Boating: People can rent canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, and rowboats on the lake. There are also several companies that offer guided boat tours.
  • Swimming: Swimming is not allowed in Lady Bird Lake due to pollution concerns. However, there are several nearby swimming holes, such as Barton Springs Pool and Deep Eddy Pool.
  • Fishing: Fishing is allowed in Lady Bird Lake, but anglers must have a valid Texas fishing license.
  • Birdwatching: Lady Bird Lake is home to a variety of bird species, including herons, ducks, and geese. Birdwatchers can enjoy spotting birds from the shore or from the water.

Accessing Lady Bird Lake

There are several public access points to Lady Bird Lake. Some of the most popular access points include:

  • Zilker Park: Zilker Park is a large park on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake. It has several access points to the lake, as well as a variety of amenities, such as picnic areas, playgrounds, and a swimming pool.
  • Butler Hike and Bike Trail: There are several access points to the Butler Hike and Bike Trail along the lakeshore.
  • Festival Beach: Festival Beach is a public beach on the northeast shore of Lady Bird Lake. It has a boat ramp, picnic areas, and a playground.

Pollution in Lady Bird Lake

Lady Bird Lake is not as polluted as it once was, but it still has some pollution problems. The main sources of pollution in the lake are stormwater runoff, sewage overflows, and boaters. Storm water runoff can carry pollutants from streets and parking lots into the lake. Sewage overflows can occur when sewage treatment plants are overloaded. Boaters can pollute the lake by discharging oil, gas, and other pollutants from their boats.

The City of Austin is working to reduce pollution in Lady Bird Lake. They have implemented a number of measures, such as improving storm water management, upgrading sewage treatment plants, and educating boaters about pollution prevention.

Specifics about Lady Bird Lake

  • Size: Lady Bird Lake is 468 acres in size.
  • Volume of water: Lady Bird Lake contains approximately 13 billion gallons of water.
  • Depth: The average depth of Lady Bird Lake is 18 feet.


Lady Bird Lake is a popular spot for recreation in Austin, Texas. It is a beautiful lake with a variety of activities to offer. However, it is important to be aware of the pollution problems in the lake and to take steps to reduce your impact.

Lady Bird Lake Upstream
Lady Bird Lake and I-35 Bridge

Be sure to check out our article Things to do at Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas