Lake Mead level

Discussion in 'Lake Powell Recreation' started by Randy Helzer, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. Randy Helzer

    Randy Helzer Active Member

    It appears that the water level at Mead is rising at an unusually faster rate than seen in the past two years while the level at Lake Powell seems to be following a typical rate of change for this time of year. Are we seeing the affects of the major rains and snows in California and Nevada, or is there something else going on?
    capt.catfish likes this.
  2. Bill Sampson

    Bill Sampson Well-Known Member

    As someone who skis at Lake Mead 5 to 6 weekends a year, that is good news. The low levels there have changed the way we have boated the lake over the last 10 years. Thanks for the good news.
  3. Lake Bum

    Lake Bum Well-Known Member

    This is downriver from there, at Topock marina on December, 28th. I have NEVER seen the river that low. Good thing that Pontoon boat had his outdrive up :cool: IMG_20161228_121238716.jpg
    BartsPlace likes this.
  4. Gem Morris

    Gem Morris Well-Known Member

    Here's a link to the Lake Mead water data base.

    The lake looks like it's rising at a consistent rate. The recent dump from Lake Powell is clearly visible but nothing unusual going on since that?
  5. WaterMan

    WaterMan Well-Known Member

    This is the Lower Colorado River from Mead to the border. This has current day with measurements every hour.
    Mead has been rising an average of 1 to 2 inch a day.
  6. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    Havasu is almost at full pool right now,[447.5 - full pool is 450], and Mohave is full 644 with full pool 647 - we don't need the water down here and they are doing a steady, but low, release right now from both Parker and Davis Dams, but there isn't a big need for water down here right now which lets them manage the system to help out Lake Mead for now. The lack of need downriver takes water out of the river proper..... as a result they have issued a warning for anyone using the river:

    Caution should be exercised while using the river between Davis Dam and the Mexican Border at San Luis, Arizona."

    Will change when the weather heats up and they have to release from Mead for more demand on the electric grid/air conditioning.
    capt.catfish likes this.
  7. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    and yes, the rain is part of the reason. We have had a LOT of rain and it all runs downhill into both lakes.
    capt.catfish likes this.
  8. Gem Morris

    Gem Morris Well-Known Member

    Mead is filling up faster than last year

    Attached Files:

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  9. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    Lot of snow today in the White Mountains here in AZ.. this helps both Mead and the AZ Lakes [Salt River drainage].... and it rained all day yesterday which also helps keep Havasu and Mohave full and this time of year much lighter load on the power grid out of the dams........ all good, plus it appears snow in the SW Utah where the water will drain into Mead is average of over 150% and more on the way this week....... this is good news! Fingers crossed.
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  10. WaterMan

    WaterMan Well-Known Member

    Mead is 1.07' higher then this date last year and we still have about a month to go.

    2016-01-22 = 1082.98
    2017-01-22 = 1084.05
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  11. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    We will see the effects of snow-melt a lot sooner with Lake Mead than Powell as the snow is all at lower altitudes and head up much faster than Colorado and NE Utah.... will be interesting. These storms coming through are cold .. if they keep dropping snow in SW Utah and up in our White Mountains that is a win-win for all of us.
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  12. shanewave

    shanewave Active Member

    WB: The consistent water levels at Lake Mojave over the past 25 years sure have made for consistently phenomenal boating conditions. Can you imagine trying to boat anywhere (but the original river basin) with a 20+ foot depth differential?
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  13. Bill Sampson

    Bill Sampson Well-Known Member

    Our biggest challenge the last few years at Lake Mead is retrieving the boat at the end of the day. The Park Service keeps extending the launch ramps. but are fighting a losing battle with the receding water. Hopefully that changes this year. Temple Bar keeps a large forklift with chain to pull vehicles out of the silt and mud if they venture in too far in to get their boats.
  14. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    For the most part both Mohave and Havasu are maintained up or down around 3 feet. Right now both are around 1 and a half feet from full pool. As a rule they draw both down in the winter and bring back up around Memorial Day weekend... this is year it is different due to all the rain. I've been watching Mead and it is slowly coming up and there is a good snowpack for a change for the Lake Mead drainage. Mead and Powell are both designed to rise or fall as they have over the decades of existence. I grew used to this at Powell long ago and don't get too exercised over the phenomenon as I've seen it drop very low only to come up 50 feet in one year...... we live in the West and weather in the West has always been variable and unpredictable... which is why we need both major lakes. The river is an interesting situation because they rise and fall with releases out of the dams..... always makes river boating interesting.
    dallas massie and Bill Sampson like this.
  15. Waterbaby

    Waterbaby Administrator Staff Member

    It came to that in 2004 when Lake Powell dropped to it's lowest level... remember that? People hooking trucks to trucks to retrieve boats? Wahweap putting down special mats, closing Stateline due to the drop off [which was fixed before the lake came back up again] so we all did a little dirt jog off the Stateline ramp to use the old and newly uncovered asphalt ramp from back in the filling the lake days [amazingly good ramp actually compared to paved ramp at Wahweap].... we were all allowed to park along the Stateline ramp........the next year the lake came up 50 feet in May..........

    Getting ready to retrieve:


    Stateline Ramp:


    Looking at Stateline - they fixed this before the lake came up the next Summer so the drop off is gone for future low water years....


    This was Antelope Point that year:

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  16. Bill Sampson

    Bill Sampson Well-Known Member

    I remember the timeshare houseboat companies hooking multiple semi trucks together to get their boats up the first 20 feet of the ramp. That was something to see.
    Waterbaby likes this.
  17. WaterMan

    WaterMan Well-Known Member

    Lake Mead is over 4 feet higher then last year and still rising.

    Can we get another 1.5 feet to reach 1090 this year.
  18. Steve Moore

    Steve Moore Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking it will see 1095
    Bill Sampson likes this.
  19. Bill Sampson

    Bill Sampson Well-Known Member

    I will take anything over what it's been the last few years.
  20. Randy Helzer

    Randy Helzer Active Member

    Looks like Mead just went higher than it's been in 3 years. And the rate of ascent is very steep. I've never been on Mead but it's seems like good news for Powell water level prospects.
    Bill Sampson and capt.catfish like this.