Lake Mead National Recreation Area will close the boat launch at Echo Bay on Wednesday, May 11 due to low water levels at Lake Mead, according to a National Park Service news release sent Friday, May 6. .
The Echo Bay Launch Ramp was built for launching boats to a lake level elevation of 1,060 feet. It has been extended in the past to allow boating access. However, the lake level is now at 1,053.72 feet above sea level. Due to a combination of the area’s unique topographical constraints and the continued decline in water levels, the park anticipates that the Echo Bay launch pad will close indefinitely pending relocation.
This leaves very little room on the lake for boaters to launch their boats. Echo Bay was the only remaining official launch point on the Overton Arm of the lake. The Callville Bay launch pad, which could accommodate launches up to an altitude of 1,062 feet, was closed in April. The Temple Bar and Boulder Harbor launch pads have been closed for some time now.
Boaters can now only access Lake Mead from Hemenway Harbour, where a single pipe carpet lane has been installed to extend the concrete ramp to the current water level.
Otherwise, the only access points for boats are on Lake Mohave below the Hoover Dam.
Boaters are encouraged to check the condition of boat launches before entering the park and to be prepared for heavy congestion with longer than average boat launch wait times, especially during the weekends.
“The National Park Service (NPS) is using the most accurate water level data available from the Bureau of Reclamation while evaluating longer-term park operating plans as water levels continue to fluctuate” , says the NPS press release.
“Continued drought and water requirements for a variety of uses, including power generation and agriculture throughout the Colorado River Basin, often make accurate water level forecasts and timelines difficult to achieve. determine, resulting in earlier than expected changes to park operations,” the statement said. “The NPS remains committed to providing safe and responsible access to aquatic recreational activities at Lake Mead for current and future boating seasons.”
The latest information on boat ramps and marina facilities can be found on the park’s website: https://www.nps.gov/lake/learn/news/lakeconditions.htm.
Projected water levels are released by the Bureau of Reclamation on the 15th of each month and can be viewed at: https://www.usbr.gov/lc/region/g4000/24.mo.pdf.