The dam stands 36 feet (11 m) high and runs 506 feet (154 m) across. The "reservoir impoundment length," is 5.75 miles (9.3 km), creating Lady Bird Lake (formerly called Town Lake), a freshwater lake with a surface area of 525 acres (2.1 km2) and a 12.5 miles (20.1 km) shoreline. The original purpose of Lady Bird Lake was a cooling lake for Austin's Holly Street Power Plant, a 570 megawatt natural gas and fuel oil fired power plant. The plant ceased power production in September 2007, and will be deconstructed beginning early in 2012.
On July 10, 2007 two teenage girls canoeing on Lady Bird Lake were sucked through the dam. The lake was closed for recreation due to record amounts of rain in the months of June and July, however the girls were unaware of the ban. Neither of the girls was hurt.