Lake Mead was created in 1935, upon completion of Hoover Dam, one of the country's engineering wonders. Since 1937, the National Park Service has been the agency administering the recreation aspects of Lake Mead and has managed the increasing popularity of this enormous lake and facilities just outside the Las Vegas metropolitan area.
The lake measures 110 miles long with a surface area of 274 square miles, and has more than 550 miles of shoreline. Lake Mead is a favorite spot for water sports enthusiasts from nearby California, Utah, Arizona and of course Nevada.
Visitors to Lake Mead can enjoy a variety of water recreation activities in a rugged and picturesque setting. Lake Mead offers some of the country's best sport fishing, boating and waterskiing, along with kayaking and canoeing. Skiers can enjoy runs through canyons on water as smooth as glass, while scuba divers can explore the numerous underwater caves and canyons.
Lake Mead is the western home of the Striped Bass, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Crappie and Channel Catfish. Fishing for stripers and largemouth bass is good throughout Lake Mead with crappie, blue gill, green sunfish, and catfish being more prevalent in the upper Overton Arm of the lake. The desert climate offers fishing throughout the year with winter Crappie fishing excellent during the winter months.
The lake is divided into several bodies. The large body closest to the Hoover Dam is Boulder Basin. The narrow channel, which was once known as Boulder Canyon and the original planned site for the dam is now known as The Narrows, connects Boulder Basin to Virgin Basin to the east. The Virgin River and Muddy River empty into Overton Arm, which is connected to the northern part of the Virgin Basin. The next basin to the east is Temple Basin, and following that is Gregg Basin.
Jagged mountain ranges surround the lake, offering somewhat of a startling but beautiful backdrop, especially at sunset. There are two mountain ranges within view of the Boulder Basin, the River Mountains, oriented North-west to South-east and the Muddy Mountains, oriented West to North-east.
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