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weather - water and air temperatures

map - online map of lakes

fishing - general fishing information


ACREAGE - FY 2002 - Gross Area Acres - 1,495,664

VISITATION - FY 2002 - Total Recreation Visits - 7,627,906


Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the USA and contains enough water to flood the entire state of New York with 1 ft. of water (26 million acre ft.).

Lake Mead FAQ:

What is the lake's elevation at high-water?

  • The high-water line is at 1,229 feet above sea level. At this elevation, the water would be more than 7 1/2 feet over the top of the raised spillway gates, which are at elevation 1221.4 feet. All lands below elevation 1,250 have been retained for reservoir purposes.

What is the reservoir's area?

  • At elevation 1221.4 feet the reservoir covers about 157,9000 acres or 247 square miles.

How long and wide is the reservoir?

  • At elevation 1221.4, Lake Mead extends approximately 110 miles upstream toward the Grand Canyon. It also extends about 35 miles up the Virgin River. The width varies from several hundred feet in the canyons to a maximum of 8 miles.

How much water will Lake Mead hold?

  • At elevation 1221.4, it would contain 28,537,000 acre feet. An acre-foot is the amount of water required to cover 1 acre to a depth o 1 foot, or approximately 326,000 gallons. The reservoir will store the entire average flow of the river for 2 years. That is enough water to cover the State of Pennsylvania to a depth of one foot.

How is the reservoir capacity allotted?

  • Below elevation 1,229, about 1,500,000 acre-feet of storage capacity is reserved exclusively for flood control; about 2,378,000 acre-feet of sedimentation control; about 15,853,000 acre-feet for joint use (flood control, municipal and industrial water supply, irrigation and power); and 10,024,000 acre-feet for inactive storage.

Who operates the dam and reservoir?

  • The Bureau of Reclamation operates and maintains the dam, powerplant and reservoir. The National Park Service administers Lake Mead as part of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

How much sediment will be deposited in the reservoir?

  • Between 1935 and 1963, about 91,000 acre-feet of sediment was deposited in Lake Mead each year. With closure of Glen Canyon Dam, about 370 miles upstream, the life of Lake Mead is indefinite.

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