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Park service warning of Swimmer's Itch at Lake Mead

Park service warning of Swimmer's Itch at Lake Mead

The Lake Mead Recreation Area is warning people about the potential for Swimmer’s Itch at the lake.

Swimmer’s Itch is caused by a parasite that produces eggs that are passed in the droppings of waterfowl that flock to the lake during migration season. The larvae can be in the water, and when they contact humans, they will burrow into swimmer’s skin.

The contact causes an allergic reaction which results in a rash and severe itchy skin. It usually does not require medical attention. The larvae do not actually develop under a person’s skin but die off quickly.  

The park service is reminding people to not swim in areas with an abundance of birds or where there are a lot of bird droppings. For people who do choose to swim, experts advise toweling off vigorously and rinsing off as soon as possible.

If a person does develop the rash, an anti-itch lotion or corticosteroid cream can be used to ease the discomfort.

Lake Mead waives fees for Saturday

Lake Mead waives fees for Saturday

Getting into the Lake Mead Recreation Area will cost you nothing this weekend for National Public Lands Day.

Entrance fees to the park will be waived Saturday. Fees for other facilities and activities will still be in effect.

Lake Mead staff will also be hosting a special cleanup effort from 9 a.m. to noon at Government Wash. Individuals, families and groups are encouraged to participate.

For more information and to register, call (702) 293-8714. 

Section of Lower Colorado River designated as National Water Trail

Section of Lower Colorado River designated as National Water Trail

A section of the Lower Colorado River has been named a National Water Trail.

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell announced the designation for the Black Canyon Water Trail Tuesday, making the waterway one of 16 nationally recognized water trails nationwide. It is the first water trail in the Southwest and the first through a desert.

Visitors can access the trail through a guided tour starting three different locations: at the base of Hoover Dam, Willow Beach, Arizona or the old mining town in Eldorado Canyon.

The water trail is 30 miles of stunning views of desert cliffs, colorful caves and sandy beaches. The trail also flows past items leftover from the construction of Hoover Dam, including gauging stations, catwalks and building foundations.

The Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance was formed in 2012 to pursue the water trail designation.



Boaters and swimmers prepare for excessive heat

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for southern Nevada.

The highs could reach between 106 and 108 at Lake Mead this weekend. Due to the excessive heat, park rangers are advising people to avoid hiking in Lake Mead Recreation Area.

People trying to escape the heat in the Las Vegas valley by enjoying the lake are reminded to wear their lifejackets while swimming and to bring extra water and food.

Emergency calls to rangers increase during the summer and they may not get to issues like disabled boats and non-emergency incidents as quickly.

Summer fire restrictions are in place at Lake Mead. The restrictions include:

Water level at Lake Mead creates boating hazards

Water level at Lake Mead creates boating hazards

BOULDER CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Low water levels at Lake Mead are creating some hazards for boaters.

Navigation crews have set up buoys to warn boaters of rocks that have newly surfaced. Some ramps also are limited to smaller boats because of the more shallow water.

Lake Mead National Recreation Area spokeswoman Christie Vanover says while boaters might encounter hazards that didn't exist last year, the low water level has some advantages. She says the lake has more coves and beaches for recreation.

Some 300,000 people are expected to visit the lake over the Memorial Day holiday. The water level is 20 feet lower than this time last year.



Lake Mead has notices for boaters

Lake Mead has notices for boaters

With the hot weather returning, many people are expected to hit Lake Mead this weekend.

The National Park Service has important messages for boaters. Two low-water launch ramps have opened, one at Echo Bay and one at Callville Bay. The main launch ramps remain open.

The park service also says that the Black Ridge Shore Light #19 in the Overton Arm of the lake is now located at North 36 degrees 22 minutes 27 seconds West 114 degrees 22 minutes 23 seconds, because of low-lake levels the buoy had to be moved.

50th anniversary of Lake Mead Recreational Area

50th anniversary of Lake Mead Recreational Area

The Clark County Commission recognized the 50th anniversary of the Lake Mead Recreation Area and National Safe Boating Week with a proclamation at Tuesday's meeting.

While the lake started filling up after the construction of the dam in 1936, the lake was not added to the National Park System until 1964. It became the country's first National Recreation Area.

The community celebration of the park's anniversary will be from noon to 4 p.m. May 17 at Hemenway Harbor. The celebration will also mark the summer kick-off party for the lake.

The event will include informational booths from area businesses that specialize in recreation at the lake, including boating, kayaking, scuba diving, hunting and fishing.

Visitors can also view an array of rental boats, walk along the marina and take a Lake Mead Cruise to the Hoover Dam.