LAKE POWELL - Destination during the drought

Lake Powell's water level has declined to a new low but the second largest manmade lake in America is still over 400 feet deep in the main channel and almost 150 miles long. A lake that large provides room for a myriad of boaters, anglers and explorers.

Lower water means that travel channels are narrower but camping beaches are more prevalent. While infrequent sand spits large enough for one boat has been the norm, now white sand beaches stretching for miles have appeared. Navigation in the main channel is safe with hazards to navigation well marked. The main channel now follows the original Colorado River streambed offering a new view of many land forms that have been submerged or off the beaten path in the past. It is a good time to see the lake again for the first time.

Bullfrog, Halls and Wahweap marinas were constructed when the lake was much lower. Launch ramps extend well into the depths. Expect good launching conditions from at least one quality ramp at each location. Some ramps now out-of-service will be lengthened. New concrete on the ferry boat ramps at Bullfrog and Hite will allow the ferry to use the private ramp and open the public ramps for visitor use. By May when crowds increase launching conditions will be much improved.

PWC's will be allowed back on the lake, maybe as early as May or as late as August. Anglers will find the lake less traveled and more sedate during the really good spring fishing months of April-May.

Fishing is expected to be super with both smallmouth bass and stripers in superb physical condition and abundant in numbers. Expect angling to be great in April and May. It is an unusual spring day when one or the other species is not cooperating. With all of the sand showing rocky bass habitat is easy to identify. Bass will be congregated around the rocky structure. Look for rocky humps showing through the long sandy areas for best results. When the water warms catfish will find the sandy flats.

Don't be alarmed by reports of Lake Powell being unusable. They are not true. There is no need to cancel the spring fishing trip. We expect this year to provide some of the best fishing and highest quality fish seen since 1996.