The Athens Municipal Water Authority is charged with the supervision and maintenance of Lake Athens – both as a water source and for recreation.
LAKE ATHENS – OUR WATER SOURCE
Our primary responsibility is to oversee Lake Athens, which the City of Athens uses as their primary water source. Optimizing the reservoir management, AMWA considers three scales.
- Permit Yield – The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has permitted AMWA to pump a maximum of 8,500 acre feet of water each year. This is a very liberal number based on the anticipation of receiving projected annual rainfall calculations to replenish the reservoir.
- Firm Yield – Based on 6,400 acre feet of water used each year, this less aggressive number is based on a smaller amount of rainfall received.
- Safe Yield – By pumping water at a safe yield level of 3,200 acre feet per year, AMWA optimizes the amount of water consumed from Lake Athens by preparing for a worst case scenario of drought conditions similar to those experienced in 2011. AMWA will ALWAYS pump water from Lake Athens at safe yield levels.
LAKE ATHENS – LIFE AT THE LAKE
The Athens Municipal Water Authority is committed to providing the quality of life expected by each property owner at the lake and has developed specific Rules and Regulations that help us in keeping this promise. We encourage all property owners to familiarize themselves with these practices to avoid any undue conflicts.
If you have recently purchased property on Lake Athens with the intent to build a new home, more than likely you’re also going to want to build a boat house, dock, and/or pier. Before you begin construction, you must first submit an application to AMWA for a construction permit. This written application must include a drawing of your proposed structure (to scale) indicating property lines, shorelines, and the proposed location of the structure; the name and current mailing address of each abutting landowner; and a listing of materials to be used in the construction. If you are requesting any type of variance for your new construction, it should be noted on this application. There is a possibility that you may be asked to appear before the AMWA Board to present your application in person. After you have been approved for construction, you will have 90 days to complete your project. Upon completion, you will need to contact AMWA to request a final inspection and permitting of the structure. If approved, you will be issued a formal permit that must be visibly displayed on the structure itself.
If you desire to make renovations on an existing boat house, dock, and/or pier, the process is basically the same as above.
Lake Athens is a public lake. Those property owners that wish to restrict public access to their property at the shoreline should talk to AMWA about their Ingress/Egress program. Also, if you’d like to pump water from Lake Athens for your yard and garden, you’ll need to obtain an annual permit from AMWA.
Okay, so you’re enjoying your new home and boat house. Now, it’s time to start thinking about getting out on that lake and having some fun!
SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST!
Whether you’ll be fishing, skiing, or just puttering around on the water, please obey all boating safety laws. Only boats that are 30’ in length or smaller will be allowed on Lake Athens. Pontoon boats with proper floatation units are allowed if they are under 28’ in length and 14’ in width. Barges are NOT allowed. There are also strict rules as to where you can anchor, moor, or stop your boat. Always stay away from the dam, spillway, and water intake station. Also, don’t park in front of one of the boat launches. That’s just rude.
Fishermen LOVE Lake Athens. In 2013, two lunkers were caught here. A lunker is a largemouth bass that exceeds 13 pounds in weight. Nice! The lake is also favored for crappie, white bass, and red ear sunfish. Fishing is prohibited in all swimming areas and near the water intake. Trot lines are permitted, but must not be over 100 feet in length, with a maximum of 25 hooks and be located outside of all fishing or skiing areas and/or near boat houses, docks, and piers. Each line must also have at least three floats marking it as well as the name and contact information of the owner.
If you’re skiing, remember to wear a life vest and ONLY ski in those areas of the lake that are designated as skiing areas. We want you to have fun on skis, but keep in mind – ski jumps and night skiing are illegal.
If you’re a hunter, please don’t hunt near Lake Athens. It is strictly forbidden.
Should you need assistance on Lake Athens, you may now contact our Lake Patrol Officer directly at 903-203-8401.
NO SKI/NO WAKE SAFETY ZONES ON LAKE ATHENS
Visit the Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center website.
Wondering who uses the most water from Lake Athens? The answer may not be quite what you expected.