Tag Archives: Lake Mead

Sea Creatures Invade Las Vegas

Getting tourists to brave the scorching heat and temptations of sin and hang out in Las Vegas is a challenging enough proposition in our economy.  But don’t tell that to the millions of party going mussels that somehow got landlocked in Lake Mead in Las Vegas. 

The first quagga mussels turned up at the lake from their secretive Great Lakes sojourn in August 2005.  Since then their numbers have mushroomed to an estimated three trillion, according to University of Las Vegas professor David Wong, who says they’re “arguably the largest invasive species of freshwater systems in North America.” 

With female mussels capable of reproducing one million offspring in one reproductive season, it’s no surprise the numbers have grown geometrically. 

Apparently, the little buggers don’t pose any inordinate danger to the Las Vegas water supply.   J.C. Davis of the Southern Nevada Water Authority simply says they’re “an operational headache that has to be managed,” adding that screens on the intake pipe at Lake Mead have to be cleaned three times a year. mussels

But stepping on them is like walking on broken glass, Davis says. 

Will they leave the lake when their Vegas winnings dwindle?  Nobody knows.  Some experts say the pests will grow, and then suddenly collapse because they have no food to sustain them.  Others theorize that at some point they’ll sustain the population. And others yet say the quagga population will cyclically rise and fall- the latter is the scenario most supported by authorities. 

So, don’t expect the critters to really go away.  And, besides, they filter the small particles from the water, increasing the lake’s clarity.  Think of the water as natural sake?


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What do Las Vegans do when the thermometer hits 120 degrees? RUN!

Sounds crazy- but, then again, Las Vegans are the epitome of crazy.  

Running with the Devil (he owns a couple of foreclosed houses in Sin City) is exactly what a group of hardy – and deranged – athletes will do when they gather at Lake Mead National Recreation area in Boulder City, Nevada this Saturday for the Running of the Devil races. 

Starting and finishing at Boulder Beach, runners will compete in five distance options, with the longest being 50 miles, roughly a DOUBLE marathon.   It’s about an 11-hour race-  for those that survive. 

Participants are described by event organizers as athletes looking for a challenge that goes beyond a mere morning job through the neighborhood.  Really? 

Running with the Devil is all about facing the challenge of extreme heat.   Last year the temperature reached 112 degrees, and it hit 116 the year before.

 All those who finish the race alive will receive a medal.  So far, 45 people have signed up to run the 50 mile gauntlet. 

Some runners are using this race as a warm-up (?) for Badwater, a 135-mile run though Death Valley in California starting July 13, where the temperature can reach 125 degrees or higher, with the race taking up to 60 hours to complete.  Now, that’s endurance! 

Interested?  Check out www.calicoracing.com for more information.  You can register for the race on Friday at the Hacienda Hotel in Boulder City from 5 to 9  p.m., or on the day of the race at Boulder Beach.

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Bald Eagles Love Las Vegas

The bald eagle, the iconic national symbol of the United States, is our new Las Vegas snowbird.  Results from a recent survey show 108 eagles – 29 adults and 59 immature – now make their winter residence at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. bald-eagle

Once on the brink of extinction, the bald eagle was declared an endangered species in 1967  for much of the United States, except Alaska, where about half of the world’s bald eagles live. 

This year’s bald eagle survey results at the Lake Mead Science Symposium on January 14 reported the second-highest tally of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area since the midwinter counts began in 1985.  

Last year the record tally was 116 bald eagles. 

A good area to view and photograph the mighty bald eagles is at the Overton Arm of Lake Mead.

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