New rules are in place for the popular Devil’s Cove on Lake Travis.
The City of Jonestown, which has jurisdiction over that part of the Lake, issued the new ordinance. Party barges (those big party boats with an upper deck) are no longer allowed in the cove, unless they have special permission. Also, no more than five boats can tie up together now.
“It’s just one giant party over there and it really creates a crowd with a lot of music, with a lot of heavy drinking and trespassing has been taking place,” Jonestown Police Chief John Stetar told KUT News.
He said drownings are a big concern, but some of these new rules came about because of complaints from lakeside property owners.
“There are so many boats that are tying up together and when they drop their anchors, for example, their anchor will hook on these anchor lines that are already down there in the water, that are being used to secure docks in place and it will pull those anchor lines free," Stetar said. "And the homeowners out there have literally had to spend thousands of dollars to get those anchor lines restored to where they were and they’ll often do that and then next weekend somebody comes along and hooks that anchor line again and you got another problem.”
To address that problem, the new ordinance prohibits boats from anchoring within 100 feet from boat docks. Boaters also aren’t allowed to tie off on to private property. People were tying off on trees and other secure points located on private property.
Local musician Casey Hubble parties in Devil’s Cove from time to time. He said he can see why homeowners would be annoyed by the rowdy crowds.
“I’m sure there are other places you can go to, like Carlos-n-Charlie's. Unless they do a lake-wide restriction, people are still going to keep partying, there’s not going to be any stopping that,” Hubble told KUT.
That means these new restrictions for Devil's Cove may end up creating a new hot party spot somewhere else on Lake Travis.