LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Ahead of the 2022 boating season, parks officials with Lake Mead National Recreation Area advised that boating this year will require some advance planning.
Water levels at the lake are expected to drop earlier than expected this year, which could lead to unanticipated changes in boat launch access.
Boaters were advised to:
- Check the status of their preferred launch destination ahead of time (on the park's website here)
- Consider planning trips to avoid high-traffic times
Officials noted that congestion at launch ramps is typically highest on the weekends, so weekday visits were encouraged.
In terms of launch ramp access this summer, boaters can expect the following:
- Callville Bay launch ramp is open on one lane of pipe mat and will likely close in April 2022 or when the lake level drops below 1,062 feet elevation. Previous Bureau of Recreation (BOR) projections anticipated this lake level drop happening in May, but the most recent projections suggest it will occur sooner.
- Hemenway Harbor will operate on one lane of concrete; pipe mat extension will be installed at 1,064 feet elevation.
- Echo Bay will operate on two lanes of concrete; one lane of pipe mat extension will be installed at 1,060 feet elevation.
- Launch ramps at Temple Bar and Boulder Harbor will remain closed. South Cove’s launch ramp is closed, but primitive launching is still available approximately 0.5 mile to the south of the concrete launch ramp.
- Launch ramp access on Lake Mohave will remain stable. However, boaters should expect higher congestion at these locations.
Water levels at Lake Mead are projected to drop earlier than expected this summer, based on forecasting from the Bureau of Reclamation. The March 2022 forecast estimates are as follows:
- The current water elevation for end of March is 1,063.11 feet.
- Projection for end of April 2022 is 1,057.14 feet.
- Projection for end of July 2022 is 1,046.87 feet.
- Projection for end of October 2022 is 1,047.47 feet.
“Lake Mead National Recreational Area looks forward to another successful, and busy, 2022 boating season for recreational boaters, tourists, campers and visitors," said acting park superintendent Randy LaVasseur. "We remain committed to providing safe and responsible access to all the recreational opportunities Lake Mead has to offer so that every visitor has an optimal park experience."
Park officials noted that the National Parks Service and its partners are "collaborating to plan for longer term operational conditions as water levels in Lake Mead continue to fluctuate."
RELATED STORIES — DROUGHT CRISIS:
- Lake Mead water level expected to continue to drop
- Low water levels at Lake Mead raise concerns among visitors
- Lake Mead at a record low level, 143 feet lost since the year 2000
"The park is actively evaluating the long-term implications of ongoing historic drought on recreational infrastructure and analyzing the most accurate scientific data available to make the best decisions possible," officials said, adding that "...robust civic and stakeholder engagement will be a part of longer-term planning."