Frequently Asked Questions

While no speed limit is set per se, according to Texas Water Safety Act, you may not operate a watercraft at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent, keeping in mind hazards, weather conditions and traffic density. The speed should not be greater than will allow the driver to stop with a safe distance from other watercraft and obstacles. Areas on the lake that require lower speeds for safety reasons will be clearly marked.

All vessels, including motorboats, canoes, kayaks, punts, rubber rafts, row boats or other vessels when not at dock must have and display at least one bright light, lantern or flashlight visible from sunset to sunrise around the horizon in all weather and during restricted visibility. However, Brazos River Authority regulations also prohibit lights on vessels from being used in any way that impairs the vision of another watercraft’s operator. It is unlawful to operate a personal watercraft from sunset to sunrise.

A person younger than 13 may operate a watercraft only if accompanied by someone at least 18-years old, if on a boat powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more, a personal watercraft or a windblown watercraft longer than 14 feet. Children 13 through 17 may operate a watercraft if they have completed a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department-approved boater safety course or are accompanied by a person 18 or older.

Boater education courses are periodically offered at by the BRA at the reservoir project offices. For upcoming classes, contact your local lake office or the BRA’s Central office at 888-922-6272.

It is not illegal to consume alcohol or have an open container when boating on a river or lake in Texas. However, lake rangers, game wardens, county sheriffs and their deputies, and local police can arrest persons for boating while intoxicated. The legal blood-alcohol limit to be charged with boating while intoxicated is .08 percent. Passengers who appear intoxicated to the point they may be a danger to others might be charged with public intoxication.

Personal water craft must stay at least 50 feet away from any other vessel, person, stationary platform or other object, or shore, unless travelling at headway speed, which does not cause a wake or swell.

This is the area where boats and personal watercraft must operate at a slow headway speed that does not create a wake or swell. This zone includes areas within 100 feet of the shoreline or any boathouse, dock or other lakeshore facility, including an occupied watercraft or area where people are swimming or diving.

All watercraft are prohibited from operating within the restricted zones above and below each reservoir’s dam. These and other restricted parts of the reservoirs are clearly marked with buoys and/or signs.

If you have an accident you should call 9-1-1. You should also report the accident to a lake ranger as soon as possible. Just like in an auto collision, you should not leave the area if your boat strikes another. Doing so could result in a “failure to stop and render aid” charge.

If you are experiencing an emergency, dial 9-1-1 and the dispatcher will contact the staff. For non-emergency situations, you may contact BRA lake rangers at each reservoir’s office.

Possum Kingdom Lake (940) 779-2321
Lake Granbury (817) 573-3212
Lake Limestone (903) 529-2141

According to BRA regulations, motor-powered watercraft shall not cause an unreasonable noise level that breaches the peace at the reservoirs. Any such watercraft operating on the reservoirs must have an exhaust water manifold or a factory-type muffler installed on the engine.

Texas law requires that all boats have a U.S. Coast Guard - approved Type I, II, III, or V life jacket available for each person aboard. Children younger than 13 in motorboats shorter than 26 feet must wear life jackets while underway. Vessels 16 feet and longer, in addition to the personal floatation device for each person on board, must have one Type IV floatation device, which must be readily accessible. Canoes and kayaks longer than 16 feet are exempt from the Type IV requirement. For personal watercraft, each person must wear a life jacket at all times.

Under Brazos River Authority regulations, all persons participating in water sports, including water skiing, tubing, wind sailing, wind surfing, aquaplaning, parasailing and similar activities are required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.

The BRA gladly welcomes swimmers to enjoy the reservoirs. Specially marked swimming areas have been established at the BRA’s lakeside parks, and are marked with buoys. However, swimming is prohibited within 100 feet of all public loading docks, boat ramps or fishing piers. Boaters must avoid designated swim areas.

The BRA does not charge a fee for boat ramp access to launch a watercraft.

For additional information on operating a watercraft on BRA reservoirs, please call the Brazos River Authority at (888) 922-6272.