Appreciating Lake Powell!

                     Last Updated 11/11/2005

                        Lake Elevation - 3602'
                Water Depth at Dam - 463' deep

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Lake Fishery Update
Nov 2005

Information is courtesy of Wayne Gustaveson,
Utah Division of Wildlfie Resources biologist

"It looks like 2005 [fall season net surveys] will be a record for fish abundance on Lake Powell."

"Smallmouth bass are more abundant than ever and at a much larger size. Largemouth bass are coming on strong. Walleye numbers are strong. The most exciting news for me is the grand increase in crappie numbers at ALL stations."

"To sum it up briefly, the carrying capacity of Lake Powell has increased with more brush habitat, more productivity and many more fish of all species."

Commissioner John W. Keys III speaks about the Adaptive Management process for the Colorado River

Lake on Upward Trend

The recent severe drought proved the worth of Lake Powell. Were it not for the water stored in Lake Powell, the Lower Basin would be in a drought emergency and the level of Lake Mead would be below the power intakes.

Normal runoff conditions finally returned in water year 2005 and the Colorado River flow was 105% of normal. Lake Powell responded nicely with a 53 foot rise in lake level during the spring contrary to environmental groups claims that we will never again see a normal Lake Powell. The normal elevation of Lake Powell is 3640' mean sea level (msl). Currently the lake is at 3602 (Nov. 2005) and if runoff in the spring of 2006 is anywhere close to normal the lake will rise up to the 3625' to 3630' range. This will reopen the Castle Rock boating shortcut across from the Wahweap Marina and allow launching once again at the Hite Marina located some 150 miles uplake from Page, Arizona.

Thank Heaven We Have Lake Powell

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Navajo Nation Social Issues

A recent editorial in the Arizona Republic (10/12/03 Tribal Tragedy) indicates that violence on tribal lands, including murder, sexual assault, vehicular manslaughter and violent assault, is at "crime wave" proportions with no end anywhere in sight.  The editorial laments that many native American tribes and especially the Navajos, remain poor and that alcohol and substance abuse are rampant problems.

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Interestingly, the environment groups that want to drain Lake Powell want to take away the Navajo Nation's only real economic engine.   Take away Lake Powell and you take away annually over $100 million dollars of economic benefit from the Navajo Generation Station alone.  You take away the educational opportunity at the Page High School and Page branch of the Coconino Community College.  You take away the opportunity for Native Americans to hold jobs near the reservation where they can continue their cultural ties and support their elders still living on the reservation.  You take away their opportunities to send their children to good schools. 

It's perhaps fashionable to bash economic growth and industry but you should consider that jobs and education offer hope.   Unemployment, alcohol and substance abuse only serve to drive Native Americans away from their homeland.

Positive news doesn't receive much media attention but at least the Arizona Daily Sun on 10-12-03 reported the Peabody Mines was honored by the Department of the Interior and received a "Gold Good Neighbor Award" for developing a host of environmental, economic and tribal initiatives on Native American lands in Arizona."

The mines received awards for programs that included reclaiming lands for livestock grazing, restoring plants and herbs, providing potable water and coal for heat, improving local infrastructure, and supporting education through scholarships. 

Click Here - Navajo Nation Economics

Personal Water Craft Update

PWC use was been officially approved at Lake Powell with restrictions for their use at Lees Ferry and the sensitive upstream reaches in the Colorado, Dirty Devil, San Juan and Escalante Rivers.

The draft EIS document is available at

Antelope Marina Groundbreaking

May 5, 2003

Local, regional and national officials descended on Antelope Point May 5 to break ground on a long-awaited $70 million marina project that’s expected to provide a major economic boost to the Navajo Nation and the city of Page.

“Today marks a new beginning at Antelope Point, and the fulfillment of a promise the U.S. government made to the Navajo Nation 30 years ago,” said Kitty Roberts, superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. “It’s definitely a time to celebrate.”

Antelope Point Marina is expected to consist of 300 boat slips, a dry dock with a 500-boat capacity, a 225-room hotel, and a Navajo cultural center, among other amenities. The $70 million project is expected to take between six and eight years to reach final completion, but marina officials hope the facility will be operational by the 2004 visitors season.

Navajo Nation Vice President Frank Dayish, Jr. told the crowd that Antelope Point will benefit the reservation not only through increased tourism, but also with the creation of numerous jobs for its residents. The project is expected to create about 175 temporary construction jobs and 150 or so permanent jobs once the facility opens for business.

“One of the major goals of the Shirley-Dayish administration is to focus on job creation,” Dayish said after the groundbreaking. “We want to provide jobs for anyone who wants to work. When you have 45-50 percent unemployment, anything that creates even one job benefits the whole Navajo Nation.”

Lawrence Platero, chairman of the Navajo Nation’s Economic Development Committee, gave the crowd some hard numbers reflecting the marina’s anticipated economic impact on LeChee and the reservation.

The project is expected to generate $1.4 million annually in land-lease revenues, another $1.4 million in tax proceeds, and $10 million each year in payroll salaries for its workers. The marina’s overall economic impact for the area is projected to be about $30 million each year.

Lake Powell Elevations
1963 - 2003
Lake Powell.jpg (72536 bytes)

As of 4/1/03, Lake Powell is 5 feet lower than it was in 1993 but the lake is still 468' deep feet at the dam.

Emission Standards for
New Gasoline Marine Engines

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued regulations that will bring forth a new generation of marine engines featuring cleaner technology and providing better engine performance to boat owners.

Controlling exhaust emissions from new gasoline spark-ignition (SI ) marine engines will result in an unprecedented 75 percent reduction in hydrocarbon (HC) emissions from these engines by the year 2025.

Likely options for achieving compliance include converting current OB/PWC 2-stroke engine technology to 4-stroke, direct-injection 2-stroke, or possibly equipping engines with catalytic converters in some applications.

To read more visit

Birds of Lone Rock Beach 

Each year, more and more birds discover Lake Powell.   American Avocets, American White Pelicans, Caspian Terns, White-face Ibis and more.  Photos by Gerry Nealon

Asian Dust Clouds  

Read about the Perfect Asian Storm of April 2001
and how it impacted the visibility across the
Colorado Plateau

Page Paleontology Science Center  

Expand your mind

What happens after a dam silts in?

9/26/00 - An pictorial essay that discusses
the mature phase of a dam

Bruce Babbitt's speech to
the Colorado Water Users Association

Babbitt  Speech

"I want to say publicly, for the record, that the idea of decommissioning Glen Canyon Dam and draining Lake Powell is outside the Circle of Reality".

Bruce Babbitt, July 14, 2000
Page, Arizona

Bruce Babbitt was in Page on July 14 and 15 to discuss his vision for a new National Monument on the Paria Plateau near  Page.  See pictures of his Spencer Trail hike and read about his vision.

Proposed Paria Plateau National Monument

Navajo Sandstone Fossils  

found around the Page Area

Paleontological Summary and Pictures

A  new website devoted to the truth about Lake Powell is

Save the Lake.

This comprehensive site contains many excellent (i.e. factual) articles on the distribution of Glen Canyon power to rural communities, the downstream water supply issues and the fauna that depend upon Lake Powell. A must read!

10/17/99 - Beaver populations below the dam have increased dramatically since the pre-dam era.  Read more about beavers in the Grand Canyon.

9/11/99 - Added a FREE SCREEN SAVER! available for Download  called Glen Canyon Now!TM.   This  PC-based screen saver contain 21 photos taken above the shores of Lake Powell.  Did you know that Lake Powell comprises only 13% of the Glen Canyon Recreational area?  This beautiful screensaver comes with background music and shows that adventure lies just around the next bend.  It takes about 15 minutes to download but is well worth the wait.

7/3/99 - Added 25 Good Reasons Not to Drain Lake Powell  

4/9/99 - Added a Page Community Profile link with all sorts of official information and statistics provided by the Arizona Department of Commerce.

Some of the data for 1997 include: Population of  8,640 and taxable sales for 1997 of  $171 million dollars.

1/20/99 -  Water is the #1 recreational activity in America.   Recreation constitutes 10.5% of all consumer spending and contributes over $350 billion annually to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

It's estimated that $180 billion of recreation GDP is generated by visitation to federally managed public land.  To read more on this subject, visit:

Fact Sheet on  Lake Recreation

Overview of the National Recreation Lake Study

11/21/98 - Native Fish History was added.

Sand Bar Restoration LInks were added.

11/18/98 - The "Solutions and Options"  page was created.

11/11/98 - The  "Quotable"  page was created.  Quotes by the Governor of Arizona and the Navajo Nation are included.

The economic impact of the Navajo Generating Station was reformatted.


Here are more links with new information:

Drought Cycles Plague the West

The Impact on Lake Mead and Downstream Users

The Colorado River - Comparing 100 Year Old Photos

The impact of a severe drought (right now...with Lake Powell): the hydrologic, environmental, and economic consequences

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