Colorado, Texas, US
|Usual Difficulty||II (for normal flows)|
|Colorado Rv at Austin, TX|
|usgs-08158000||1700 - 3400 cfs||II||00h49m||144 cfs (too low)|
Lake Austin is a constant-level lake, so when the LCRA releases thousands of cfs from Mansfield Dam/Lake Travis, this water is passed through Tom Miller Dam (Lake Austin.) When this happens, a wave field opens up between the dam and the Redbud Trail bridge, providing kayakers with an opportunity to practice some whitewater moves on a wide river. Dam releases typically occur during the warmer months (to support downstream agriculture) or after periods of heavy upstream rainfall. Refer to the LCRA Daily River Report for release information.
Park at the Red Bud Isle Dog Park and put in across the road at the historical marker (Red Bud Isle was formed when one of Austin's first dams collapsed during a major flood in 1900.) Parking at Red Bud Isle may be tricky in the afternoon or on weekends when the weather is nice, as this park is very popular with dog walkers.
Paddle toward the dam, sticking as close to the island as you can, then ferry out into the wave field.
A swim here is typically not dangerous but could be tiring. However, there are plenty of places to practice flat water moves and for beginners to work on rolls, ferries, eddy turns, and peel-outs.
For more information, see Texas Whitewater.
There is debris just under the surface, including concrete chucks with rebar facing upstream. For this reason some boaters have stopped paddling at this spot.
Boaters recently removed the same type of debris from Longhorn Dam. Hopefully some kind souls will do the same for Tom Miller.