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Powell report, June 20-24

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Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
HI all,

We had a nice vacation with friends on their boat out of Halls Crossing. Great weather, mostly. It was sad to see so many mussels since the lake only came up three feet this year.... I'd estimate that the mussels were about 15 feet above the water line, coating rocks on their shady side. On the plus side, the lake didn't seem as busy.

Yes, the gnats are bad right now. I saw zillions of them swarming around the dead, opened mussels. The lizards must be so happy. I'm hoping there won't be so many gnats when I go back in July.

We had two great houseboat sites during our time. When we left the first one, we made our way out to the channel. We went right over a scorpion floating in the water! It was as BIG AS MY HAND. The stuff of nightmares. We did see Peregrine Falcons in each spot we stayed. And Great Blue Herons. We also saw Bighorn footprints near the water at the Waterpocket Fold.

On Saturday night, the wind picked up that afternoon. It blew all. night. long.... When it stopped, the sun was starting to come up. So that part wasn't so fun. We were all zombies. I didn't catch any fish, either, but the kids on the trip did.

TiffIMG_1861.jpgIMG_1862.jpgIMG_1864.jpg
 

sparkin5280

Active Member
Thanks for the trip update. Mussels report sucks. We leave for Bullfrog July 6th. Where were your 2 great spots? We usually camp around 69 to 65.
 

Pegasus

Well-Known Member
Ditto on the visible mussels both out of the water and on the rocks in the water as far down as you can see! This year will be the first year that many visitors will see the extent of the infestation with the water being so low. Luckily, at this point, most mussels are only on the shady side of rocks, even rocks under the water. Unfortunately in the years to come they will completely cover rocks making playing in the water near shore treacherous.

And, ditto on the wind Saturday night! Not fun! Thanks for the update.
 

Goblin

Well-Known Member
HI all,
… When we left the first one, we made our way out to the channel. We went right over a scorpion floating in the water! It was as BIG AS MY HAND. The stuff of nightmares....
Good news, Bad news.
  • The good news: This was probably the 'Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion' which has a sting about as painful as a honey bee sting. Not too formidable but could potentially be life threatening for those prone to anaphylaxis.
  • The bad news: Yeah, they are still pretty spooky.
The most venomous scorpion in the US is the 'Arizona Bark Scorpion'. It does pose a serious risk, mostly to the young or elderly, although no deaths in the US have occurred within the last twenty years or so. . This is a very small scorpion, (1"-3") and is light brown in color. I am told it inhabits parts of Utah but I have seen none of them in the St George area or Lake Powell but we must assume they are probably around.

If stung by the Bark Scorpion seek medical help immediately. After the sting, a clue will be both pain and numbness at and around the sting area. Even with the numbness, it will be very painful. The easiest way to ID an Arizona Bark Scorpion is from the tail segments: Compare these two images:
The first is the Giant Desert Hairy and you can clearly see the namesake hairs on it.
1530087935042.png

and the second is the Arizona Bark
1530088023833.png
Bark Scorpions are mostly light brown but so are many others so that is not a reliable ID feature. Notice that the Bark Scorpion tail segments are almost identical in length whereas the Desert Hairy and all other North American scorpions have the smallest segment at the body and each subsequent segment is noticeable longer until reaching the last segment next to the stinger bulb.

One kinda neat thing at night is to shine a black light out on the ground where scorpions might be. They glow an eerie and spooky blue color under black light and can easily be spotted.

OK, OK, it's been a slow night,
Goblin
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the trip update. Mussels report sucks. We leave for Bullfrog July 6th. Where were your 2 great spots? We usually camp around 69 to 65.

Yes, we like to head for the mid-lake region too. 69 to 65 just about nails where we like to be. Have a great trip!
Tiff
 

Dorado

Escalante-Class Member
Ditto on the visible mussels both out of the water and on the rocks in the water as far down as you can see! This year will be the first year that many visitors will see the extent of the infestation with the water being so low. Luckily, at this point, most mussels are only on the shady side of rocks, even rocks under the water. Unfortunately in the years to come they will completely cover rocks making playing in the water near shore treacherous.

And, ditto on the wind Saturday night! Not fun! Thanks for the update.

Not to diminish how awful it is that the lake is infested with mussels, but I do not think they will ever "completely cover rocks" like they have in other bodies of water (at least where we can see them). The lake simply rises and falls too much for that to happen. Along the littoral zone of the lake, they will be continuously drying and dying as the lake recedes, then re-colonizing when the lake rises. Or at least that seems likely to me;)
 

Bill Sampson

Escalante-Class Member
HI all,

We had a nice vacation with friends on their boat out of Halls Crossing. Great weather, mostly. It was sad to see so many mussels since the lake only came up three feet this year.... I'd estimate that the mussels were about 15 feet above the water line, coating rocks on their shady side. On the plus side, the lake didn't seem as busy.

Yes, the gnats are bad right now. I saw zillions of them swarming around the dead, opened mussels. The lizards must be so happy. I'm hoping there won't be so many gnats when I go back in July.

We had two great houseboat sites during our time. When we left the first one, we made our way out to the channel. We went right over a scorpion floating in the water! It was as BIG AS MY HAND. The stuff of nightmares. We did see Peregrine Falcons in each spot we stayed. And Great Blue Herons. We also saw Bighorn footprints near the water at the Waterpocket Fold.

On Saturday night, the wind picked up that afternoon. It blew all. night. long.... When it stopped, the sun was starting to come up. So that part wasn't so fun. We were all zombies. I didn't catch any fish, either, but the kids on the trip did.

TiffView attachment 2883View attachment 2884View attachment 2885
This is very similar to what I experience on Lake Mead.
 

Tiff Mapel

Well-Known Member
Good news, Bad news.
  • The good news: This was probably the 'Giant Desert Hairy Scorpion' which has a sting about as painful as a honey bee sting. Not too formidable but could potentially be life threatening for those prone to anaphylaxis.
  • The bad news: Yeah, they are still pretty spooky.
The most venomous scorpion in the US is the 'Arizona Bark Scorpion'. It does pose a serious risk, mostly to the young or elderly, although no deaths in the US have occurred within the last twenty years or so. . This is a very small scorpion, (1"-3") and is light brown in color. I am told it inhabits parts of Utah but I have seen none of them in the St George area or Lake Powell but we must assume they are probably around.

If stung by the Bark Scorpion seek medical help immediately. After the sting, a clue will be both pain and numbness at and around the sting area. Even with the numbness, it will be very painful. The easiest way to ID an Arizona Bark Scorpion is from the tail segments: Compare these two images:
The first is the Giant Desert Hairy and you can clearly see the namesake hairs on it.
View attachment 2887

and the second is the Arizona Bark
View attachment 2888
Bark Scorpions are mostly light brown but so are many others so that is not a reliable ID feature. Notice that the Bark Scorpion tail segments are almost identical in length whereas the Desert Hairy and all other North American scorpions have the smallest segment at the body and each subsequent segment is noticeable longer until reaching the last segment next to the stinger bulb.

One kinda neat thing at night is to shine a black light out on the ground where scorpions might be. They glow an eerie and spooky blue color under black light and can easily be spotted.

OK, OK, it's been a slow night,
Goblin



Goblin, thanks for the scorpion info! Here's a pic of one I found in the back of Face Canyon back in 2009. He's likely the Arizona Bark Scorpion, was only about 3 inches in length, and just hanging out on the wall about at eye-level.

Tiff
IMG_0824.jpg
 

Bailer

Active Member
I got nailed on the shoulder by a bark scorpion. Pain was more or less like a bee sting, not a big deal. The muscle spasms in my shoulder for the next day or two were more of a hassle.
 
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