Lake Mead level

Randy Helzer

Well-Known Member
#1
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?
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
#2
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.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#6
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: View attachment 201
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.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#9
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.

http://www.12news.com/weather/flood-warning-in-valley-areas-snow-in-the-high-country/389618934
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#11
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

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.
 

shanewave

Well-Known Member
#12
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

Well-Known Member
#13
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.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#14
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?

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.
 

Waterbaby

Moderator
Staff member
#15
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.

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:

upload_2017-2-9_16-2-27.jpeg


Stateline Ramp:

upload_2017-2-9_16-4-15.jpeg

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....

upload_2017-2-9_16-9-8.jpeg



This was Antelope Point that year:

upload_2017-2-9_16-6-5.jpeg