Lowering water levels in Lake Mead change launching options

Boaters and anglers are restricted from launching at any other place other than between these concrete barriers due to the low-water condition at the South Cove ramp. (Photo by Don Martin)

Boaters and anglers are restricted from launching at any other place other than between these concrete barriers due to the low-water condition at the South Cove ramp. (Photo by Don Martin)

The waters of Lake Mead are going down at a steady rate and according to David Hughey, the Deputy Chief of Maintenance at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, the lake level has not bottomed out yet. He is expecting the lake to drop another foot in elevation this summer.

Hughey said because of the dropping water levels, there will be just single-lane launching at South Cove, while two lanes will be open at Temple Bar.

Hughey said launching at South Cove can only be done between the two cement barriers that are there. The LMNRA has put down a pipe mat for boaters to launch off of between the two barriers.

“The pipe mat is about 115 feet long, and is about 5 feet deep out at the end,” Hughey said.

Boaters who launch should back toward the dock when they launch and not back into the north side, Hughey said. The water level on the north side of the mat is shallow, and there are rock buoys to help boaters avoid backing into this area.

The dock at South Cove will remain in the same location for now and is in about 50 feet of water, but no one should try and launch a boat off of the ramp at any other location than the designated spot.

The water level is right at the end of the current concrete ramp, and it is not only dangerous to launch anywhere else, but the possibility of damage to boat trailers is assured if a boater’s trailer falls off the end of the ramp.