Boaters within the State of Texas have many opportunities for enjoying the rivers and many reservoirs in the state. Texas boating laws, including the Water Safety Act, apply to all waters of the state; however, each reservoir may have rules specific to the area.
In Texas, you must register your boat by obtaining a Certificate of Number and validation decals which are effective for a period of two years. Exceptions to this rule are:
- Sailboats under 14 feet in length
- Non-motorized vessels such as canoes and kayaks, and
- Vessels registered in other states that will use the waters of the state for 90 consecutive days or less.
- The certificate or a copy must be on board and available for inspection by an officer whenever a vessel is being operated. Registration and validation decals must be displayed on the boat at all times.
During droughts, when water levels are down and boat ramps are closed, do not drive in the lake bed or ignore posted signs or move barricades to launch boats. If the ramps are closed, it is because it is no longer safe to launch boats at those locations. Don’t be deceived by a lake bed that appears dry in some places. Just beneath the surface is a thick layer of silt or mud that when driven across, may break through the top dry layer and become stuck, causing damage to a vehicle and boat. Just as important, driving there can be harmful to the health of the lake-bed and the lake itself when it refills.
The BRA provides free boat ramps, courtesy docks and fishing piers at lakes Possum Kingdom, Granbury and Limestone. Numerous marinas with supplies and gas also are located at each reservoir.
To request a free hard-copy map of any of the BRA lakes, click here. For online maps click:
Your safety while on a reservoir is of the utmost importance to the Brazos River Authority. For this reason, the BRA has implemented several rules that exceed those set by the state. To view BRA regulations, click here.
Boater Safety Courses
The BRA encourages everyone to enroll in a boater education course. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department offers these courses throughout Texas, online and through home course kits.
The programs, which are mandatory for children under 18 years of age and required for anyone born after Sept. 1, 1993 teach the importance of boating safety and responsibility. Boat insurance companies will often provide discounts after successfully completing the course.
Buoy markers are on-water traffic signs. Being attentive to buoy markers will help keep you and your family safe. For a complete listing of the many different types of buoy markers, click here.
Personal Floatation Devices
In Texas, personal floatation devices -or life jackets - are required for everyone on a watercraft. Lifejackets come in different shapes and sizes. To ensure your family’s safety, be familiar with those necessary for your next trip on the water. For more information on personal floatation devices, click here.
State law and BRA regulations require any on-water accident be reported to authorities. It is best to make the report immediately following the accident by dialing 911. If you do not make your report at that time, contact the lake office.
To contact the office at Possum Kingdom Lake call 940-779-2321; at Lake Granbury call 817-573-3212; and at Lake Limestone call 903-529-2141.
For a full listing of BRA Regulations, click here.
For additional boating frequently asked questions, click here.
For a detailed summary of all Texas boating laws and safety regulations click here.