LakeMohaveSunset-800x534BOULDER CITY, Nev.–With hot temperatures and lower-than-average water levels, National Park Service officials are reminding visitors to take extra precautions over the weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for the entire Lake Mead National Recreation Area. High temperatures are forecast to reach 115 degrees from June 19-21 at both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave.

Some tips to help keep visitors safe include:
Drink plenty of water, avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, hiking is not recommended, wear light, loose-fitting clothing, a hat and sunscreen, use a buddy system, provide plenty of water and shade for pets and never leave pets or children in a parked car. If you or someone becomes disoriented or passes out, they may be experiencing heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Move to a cooler location, if possible, and call 911.

Launching conditions at Lake Mohave are excellent. At Lake Mead, the water elevation is around 1,075 feet. All launch ramps are open, but most require a four-wheel-drive vehicle due to mud.

Boulder Harbor – 8 lanes open on concrete ramp. Hazards have been marked in the center of the channel. Please exit the along the sides. The left (north) side is about six-feet deep. The right (south) side is about four-feet deep. New hazards have been marked just outside the harbor to the south. Please use caution.
Hemenway Harbor – Two lanes open on pipe mat. Four-wheel-drive recommended for one lane.
Callville Bay – Two lanes open on pipe mat. Four-wheel-drive recommended for one lane.
Temple Bar – One lane open on pipe mat. Four-wheel-drive recommended. For courtesy launch ramp assistance at Temple Bar, call marina staff at 928-767-3211.
Echo Bay – One lane open. Four-wheel-drive recommended.
South Cove – One lane open on pipe mat. Four-wheel-drive recommended.

People should use caution when traveling along shorelines or on backcountry roads that lead to Lake Mead. The portions of the road that are closer to the water may appear solid on the surface, but the soil is soft. Vehicles have been getting stuck in the mud, and tow companies do not always service remote locations.

Those who travel on backcountry roads should pack extra food and water for themselves and their pets in case they are stuck overnight. Cell service is spotty in the backcountry. Consider carrying a handheld radio and let someone else know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Swimming Hazards
Blue-green algae are still present on both Lake Mead and Lake Mohave. Most recently, the largest concentrations have been seen in Gregg Basin near South Cove. However, it moves daily with wind and waves. The algae may appear as green or yellow streaks or scum on the surface of the water or as green globs or streaks floating below the surface.
Some blue-green algae may produce toxins harmful to people and pets. At least one-third of lakes in United States that are larger than 10 acres have these toxin producing algae, and this trend is increasing worldwide.
Do not swim, dive or contact water in areas with algae.
Do not drink untreated lake water.
Keep pets and children out of areas with algae.
Clean fish well, and discard guts.
Rinse off with clean water after swimming.

Some swimmers at Cottonwood Cove have recently reported developing a rash and itching after swimming. This could be symptomatic of contact with the algae or Swimmer’s Itch. Swimmer’s Itch is a parasite found in birds that burrows under the skin, causing an allergic reaction. This is a common occurrence worldwide. Most cases do not require medical attention. First-aid treatment includes anti-itch lotion or corticosteroid cream. As an extra precaution, vigorously towel dry and rinse off as soon as possible after swimming. To report algal blooms or illness, call 702-293-8998. To report a medical emergency, call 702-293-8932.

NPS says other ways to keep cool at the Lakes over the weekend include enjoying dinner or lunch on-the-water in one of the park’s many air-conditioned restaurants. Callville Bay, Las Vegas Boat Harbor and Lake Mead Marina have floating restaurants. All other marina locations have land-based restaurants with lake views. A Lake Mead Cruise in the air-conditioned paddle-wheeler which offers mid-day, champagne brunch and dinner cruises to the Hoover Dam and back or just take a scenic drive along the Lake Mead Adventure Parkway from Boulder City to Moapa Valley.

The NPS said for residents to try and avoid launch ramp congestion by renting a boat. Callville Bay, Las Vegas Boat Harbor and Temple Bar on Lake Mead and Willow Beach, Cottonwood Cove and Katherine Landing on Lake Mohave offer boat rentals, ranging from house boats to personal watercraft.