Las Vegas Sun

October 19, 2019

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What’s the speed limit on Lake Mead?

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Mr. Sun, What’s the speed limit on Lake Mead?


Lake Mead’s harbors and marinas require that boats travel at wakeless speeds, which rangers usually set at less than 5 mph.

Outside those areas, the speed limit is subjective.

Officials say that on a clear day, with no other watercraft around, it might be appropriate to travel 50 mph or more on the lake. “If you’re doing that speed near shore or a boat with a dive flag up or other boats, that’s another thing,” said Andrew Munoz, spokesman for the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

Navigation Rule 6 states that a “safe speed” accounts for visibility, traffic, the boat’s stopping distance and turning ability, weather conditions, water depth and navigational hazards, among other factors.

The park rangers and state game wardens who issue citations on Lake Mead might have a different definition of those factors than a boat full of Memorial Day joy riders.

“It’s a judgment call,” Munoz said. ”The important thing for boaters to remember is they’re the captain of their vessel. They’re responsible to operate it safely.”

Questions for Mr. Sun should be sent to [email protected].

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