Canyon Lake spared from new GBRA boating regulations

New regulations adopted Wednesday in a Resolution by the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority (GBRA) Board of Directors will help enhance water safety and reduce shoreline damage on area hydroelectric lakes, said general manager Bill West.

The Resolution addresses the operation of recreational devices known as 'inflatables' or 'water toys', as well as motor-powered boats and personal water craft (PWC) such as jet-ski's on Lake Dunlap, Lake McQueeney, Lake Placid, Lake Nolte, Lake H-4 and Lake Wood in Comal, Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties. It does not affect Canyon Lake.

Effective March 22, the new regulations prohibit:

1. The installation of fixed ramps, rails or other devices for the use of riding or sliding with a wake-board.

2. The use of a motor-powered boat or PWC to create a wake (classified as a hazardous wake) for surfboard use.

3. The intentional use, modification or operation of a motor-powered boat or PWC to create a wake that exceeds the necessary level for recreation, or that causes wave action that will damage shoreline property.

4. Pulling an inflatable or water toy with a rope or other attachment within 50 feet of another vessel, the shoreline, or a fixed structure. This does not apply to towing a skier or wake-boarder using a hand-held rope or lanyard.

The regulations were developed by a workgroup of representatives from lake associations representing the GBRA hydroelectric lakes, the Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and GBRA staff. The workgroup met frequently over a six-month period to review a variety of water safety issues and develop a consensus plan. Their proposed regulations were then submitted to the County and TPWD for comment prior to presenting the Resolution to the GBRA Board.

The passage of the restrictions was endorsed by the local lake-wide Associations including Preserve Lake Dunlap Association (PLDA), Friends of Lake McQueeney (FOLM),

Clean Up Lake Placid Association (CULP) and the Meadow Lake Homeowners Association. The restrictions were also emphasized in a Guidance Document executed by each Association.

"With more and more non-lake residents searching for water related activities, coupled with the recent life threatening accidents resulting from the misuse of inflatable 'water toys', we collectively agree that stern action must now be taken to protect the general public before we experience more accidents," said PLDA president Tony Sellers.

According to GBRA's West, there will be an overall public education effort to inform lake users of the regulations and to provide additional water-safety education.

Rick Wallace, President of CULP, said that all the lake groups were in agreement concerning the need for public education regarding boating safety. "Recreational use of these lakes is increasing yearly, and many homeowners and lake users are not permanent residents," said Wallace. "We strongly support an overall public education effort to inform everyone about these regulations and to provide additional water-safety education to help protect people and property."

A copy of the Resolution and regulations is available on the GBRA website at For additional information, contact David Welsch at 830-379-5822 or

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