Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date


Publication Title

Lake Mead Limnological Research Center: Technical Report Series


Department of Biological Sciences: University of Nevada, Las Vegas




The U.S. Water and Power Resources Service is considering reregulating Lake Mohave water levels to increase the net power benefit from Hoover Dam. Reregulation will not increase the generation capacity of the Hoover powerplant but it will enable the plant operation to be increased when the energy has greater monetary value. Energy generated at different times of the year has different market value, the highest being in January-March and July- September. By generating more power during these periods more net monetary benefit can be derived from Hoover Dam. The total volume of water released from Hoover Dam over an annual period must remain unchanged due to downstream water requirements for irrigation. To obtain this power benefit, therefore, less water for generation would be discharged during the low market value periods to enable higher discharges during the high market value periods. The discharge regime at Davis Dam would also remain unchanged in order to meet downstream water requirements. Therefore more extreme fluctuations in Lake Mohave water levels would result in order to accommodate changes in the Hoover Dam discharge regime.

Water levels in Lake Mohave presently fluctuate from a maximum elevation of about 647 ft. in February-April to a minimum of 630.5 ft. in September- November. The minimum elevation has been maintained to accommodate the marinas on the lake. To optimize power generation from Hoover Dam, water levels in Lake Mohave will fluctuate from elevations of 600 to 640 ft. The greatest power benefit would be derived from decreased Hoover Dam discharge in April-June and October-December and increased discharge in January-March and July-September…

The proposed reregulation alternatives will alter environmental conditions in Lake Mohave because of the extreme variations in water level. The U.S. Water and Power Resources Service initiated this investigation to determine to what extent reregulation would affect limnological conditions and fisheries in Lake Mohave.


Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico); Freshwater fishes; Hydrodynamics; Lake Mohave (Ariz.); Limnology; Phytoplankton; Water currents; Water temperature


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Environmental Engineering | Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Monitoring | Fresh Water Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Natural Resources Management and Policy | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology | Water Resource Management




From the Lake Mead Limnological Research Center, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.