BOULDER CITY, Nev. – The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is advising visitors to be aware of changes to water access points and boat launch areas on Lake Mead this year due to declining water levels through the summer.
According to the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) forecasts for 2021 and 2022, Lake Mead water levels will drop. Launch ramps at Boulder Harbor, Hemenway Harbor, Temple Bar, Callville Bay, Echo Bay and South Cove will be impacted as soon as late May 2021 as water levels reach 1075 feet and below. Lake Mead plans to temporarily extend launch ramps in most impacted locations using pipe mats while a long-term solution can be implemented.
Boaters should check the status of their preferred launch destinations before heading to the lake. The latest information on current boat launch and marina facilities can be found at: Lake Mead National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov). Projected water levels are provided on the 15th of each month by the BOR and are available at https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/24mo.pdf.
The elevation of Lake Mead is about 145 feet lower since the onset of the 20-year historic drought, including the last ten years of extreme drought reflecting the effects of a changing climate in the Colorado River basin. Between 2002 and 2021, the National Park Service has closed some lake access points and invested tens of millions at other locations to extend launch ramps, parking facilities, water systems, electrical systems, docking facilities, navigational aids, shoreline access, sanitation facilities and many other facilities to accommodate lowering lake levels.
Lake Mead is America’s first National Recreation Area and offers a variety of recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, fishing, scenic driving and more. Visit Lake Mead National Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) for more information.