Boating in Low Water is Still A-OK!

Guest Blogger (Nevada Department of Wildlife), Team
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Boating in Low Water is Still A-OK!

Even though the country is going through a drought in many areas, houseboating is still a perfect choice to create memories of a lifetime!

One of the biggest concerns we've heard this year was water levels.  "I've heard Lake Shasta has NO water in it!  Is that true?"  "My neighbor said Lake Powell is dried up!"  Our answer is always "Heck no!  Come on in, the water is fine"!  Yes, levels are lower than they have been in the past few years, but there is still plenty to do and see in all areas.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife published this recent Press Release about boating in Nevada, but it can apply to lakes anywhere... California, Arizona, and even Georgia!  And we know it's true!  We've talked to so many of our clients this year after their trip and the masses all agree "This was the best vacation I've ever been on"!  Go ahead and read this, and let us know if you have any questions.  We'd love to ease your fears!


Despite a Dry Year, Great Boating Abounds in Nevada

By: Edwin Lyngar, Nevada Department of Wildlife

Although Southern and Northern Nevada alike have seen lower than average precipitation in the last few years, many boating opportunities at Nevada’s most famous, scenic and well-known waterways are as good as ever.

Lakes such as Lakes Mead, Mohave and Tahoe not only provide great boating opportunities all summer, they are also some of the most beautiful and famous waterways in America.  Yet many local and regional boaters mistakenly believe “there’s not enough water for boating.” 

“Even in the worst water conditions, Nevada has boating ramps that are always accessible, and in the late summer, many of them are underused, said David Pfiffner, Nevada’s boating law administrator.   “We’d like to see people get out and take advantage of these great recreation opportunities.”

Lakes Mead and Mohave are part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.  There are many marinas, boat liveries and other businesses open all summer long to cater to boaters, anglers and other water enthusiasts.  Water levels on Lake Mead do fluctuate, but even in the most severe drought, the lake level is hundreds of feet deep in many places. The water levels at Lake Mohave fluctuate only slightly, so boating is as good there as it has ever been.  In some areas of the Colorado River System are even seeing increases in water level of up to a foot a day.

“Some people think that boating is not quite as good on Lake Mead because of lower water levels, but even with current conditions, Lake Mead is still the largest manmade reservoir in the United States,” said Bruce Rowe, director of marine services for Forever Resorts, a company with marinas on both Lakes Mead and Mohave.  “There is still a lot of quality recreation to be had out at the lake, but people just don’t know it.”

Lake Tahoe remains the gem of the Sierra with lots of recreation opportunities.  Some boat ramps, such as the one at Sand Harbor State Park, do close later in the summer when water levels drop, but there are many more that stay open.  Stand up paddling has exploded at Tahoe, brining many more people into boating, and at the same time, this growing sport encourages fitness.  The only concern is that paddle board users often misunderstand their role as boaters.

“We have seen phenomenal growth of stand up paddle boards at Tahoe, while the real challenge is that paddlers often don’t consider themselves ‘boaters.’  We’d like to see paddlers take a boating education class so that they can learn that they’ve become a member of the wider boating community,” said Mike McCusker, the game warden lieutenant in charge of Lake Tahoe. “All the same, we’re encouraged by all the new users up at Tahoe.”

Whatever type of boating a person likes, there are opportunities all over Nevada.  A few years of drought isn’t going to drain Lake Tahoe or Lake Mead, but the misconceptions otherwise are costing too many boaters a good time.

About The Nevada Department of Wildlife

            The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW is also Nevada’s boating safety agency, promoting boating education and enforcing Nevada’s boating laws.  NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information or to find a boating education course online, visit

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