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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, August 30, 2013

Low Water Levels Mean Boaters Need To Be Cautious

Water levels are low in many of our reservoirs, but there is still plenty of opportunity to boat and fish this Labor Day Weekend.

Our reservoirs are designed to capture high water in the spring and release it through the summer, so it is naturally that they become "drawn down" toward the end of the summer season. This year some are extra low because of snowpack was meager last last winter and summer temps have been hot.

Most of our reservoirs still offer good or very goat launching and boating conditions. At a few, ramps have lane restrictions or rough launching conditions, where 4X4 vehicles are needed to get trailered boats into and out of the water. At a few others, ramps are closed because of the low water.

Many of our most popular reservoirs are managed as Utah state parks. See the current conditions report for information about parks you may want to visit.

Lake Powell is also low but still offers a tremendous amount of boatable water. At this writing, all ramps are open in the Wahweap, Bullfrog and Halls Crossing areas. As the water level drops, launching may soon become difficult at the Antelope Point ramp. The concreat ramp at Hite has not been usable for some time but fishermen launch small boats in other areas at the top of the lake.

The Deseret News has this article on how low water is affecting boating conditions. Below are excerpts.

"Things are different, not worse," said Eugene Swalberg, spokesman for the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation. "Wouldn't we all love to have full reservoirs? We would. But there are still plenty of places to go."

Swalberg noted that, on the flip side, less water means more beaches. At places such as Bear Lake, which still has plenty of water to go around, more exposed sandy beaches will be perfect for building sandcastles, playing volleyball and enjoying the sun.

As you boat, use caution and watch for underwater obstacles. That's always important but particularly now with conditions changing rapidly.


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