LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As temperatures start to heat up, many are heading out to Lake Mead to cool off, but the national recreation area is now asking boaters to prepare for low water levels.
At Hemenway Harbor, low water levels are already impacting the boat launch area. Lake Mead says that this is one of several popular access points that will be impacted.
It was a busy morning Sunday at Lake Mead as dozens of boaters launched into the water.
Frederick Wofford Senior noticed the receding water line right away.
“It’s my sons 19th birthday, so we didn’t want the low water levels to stop us from having a good time,” said Woffard. “If you look around you can see where it was here with the rim, and a lot of things are exposed now that wasn’t exposed several years ago.”
Lake Mead National Recreation Area is expecting levels to go down to 1068 feet by the end of summer, which is the lowest it’s been since the reservoir was filled in the 1930s.
“There’s rocks that was pretty much 20, 30 feet down below that’s actually up higher,” Woffard said. “So, you definitely can destroy your boat if you don’t stay out in the middle.”
To help keep these access points open, maintenance teams are installing repurposed pipe mats to temporarily extend the concrete.
Lake Mead is asking boaters to prepare for delays and some temporary closures.
“Be flexible,” said Greg Hauburger — Chief of Staff at Lake Mead National Recreation Area. “If you find that your favorite launch ramp location is going to be delayed, you may want to look at launching at a different location at that point in time.”
Hauburger says $5 million is being committed to extend the concrete ramps this year. That cost will rise significantly to $12 million in 2022 and $100 million in 2023.
Hauburger says they are working on ways to fund the projects.