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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
October 2, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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October 2, 1997

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Outdoors / Operation Game Thief: 1-800.992-3030 Operation Cal- Tip: 1-800,952,5400 pamap van carom, Thursday, Octot 2, 1997 27 t i Storms a danger for boaters by (7,. Douglas NiMsen Powerful thunderstorms that pounded southern Nevada recently are sober reminders of the sudden, and often violent, changes that characterize the state's summer weather patterns, and should serve as a strong warning to area boaters, according to the Nevada Division of Wildlife (NDOW). "Many people, especially those who are new to the Southwest, don't realize just how fast these desert storms can come up. These storms usually bring with them high winds followed by rough wa- ter.and often catch un- wary boaters by sur- prise," said Fred Messmann, NDOW boating law administra- tor. "For the unprepared, this can be disastrous." According to the Na- tional Weather Service, Nevada's weather can go from blue sky to thun- derstorm within an hour. The winds that accom- pany these storms can be powerful enough to create problems miles away from the actual storm itself. At least one of Nevada's 1996 boating fatalities came as a di- rect result of these quick- building winds. The victim's boat swamped and sank while he swam for the shore. He never made it, and according to Messmann, was not wearing a life jacket. David Pfiffner, supervising boning officer for NDOW, said, "Boaters -- and anyone else who recreates outdoors-- should make a habit of listening to the weather forecast before leaving home, and again at various times while in the outdoors. It's very important to stay abreast of any changes, no matter how slight." Boaters should also be willing to adjust their plans when weather conditions warrant it, added Pfiffner, even if it means postponing an activity or even an entire trip. Pfiffner also advocates filing a trip plan before heading to the lake. This, he explained, "simply means telling a responsible adult where one is going, with whom one is going and when one expects to leave and return." If this process is followed, anyone who becomes lost or stranded is generally found within 24 hours after their expected return time. Without a trip plan there are no promises. "People who frequent the Lake Mead National Recre- ation Area should carry a marine band radio or a cellular telephone. The National Park Service monitors the two-way radios 24-hours a day on channels 16 and 22A. The popular citizens ban radio, or CB, is not very effective on the lake," said Pfiffner. Weather forecasting is not an exact science. Besides scanning weather reports, boaters and other outdoor enthu- siasts should periodically inspect the horizon for sig of imminent weather changes. These changes generally come from the west, and the list of indicators includes wind shifts, thunderheads building up in the distance, increasingly choppy waters, swelling waves and a drop in barometric pressure. In addition to high winds, summer storms can also pro- duce heavy rains that may result in flash flooding. The power of these floods was demonstrated recently when a powerful thunderstorm pounded the Boulder City and Henderson communities in Clark County. Those who under- estimate flash floods can quickly become another statistic, according to NDOW. Flash floods can wash large amounts of debris into Nevada's waterways where an unsuspecting boater might hit it. "Following a rain storm," Pfiffner said, "it is imperative that boaters keep a watchful eye out for floating logs and other debris that can really damage a boat or cause severe personal injury. Extreme caution should be used in areas where washes and streams enter a main body of water." Also creating a serious safety hazard for boaters is light- ning, which generally strikes the highest point in a given area. On a body of water, boats become the high points. "If lightning appears immanent, boaters should lower all anten- nas and other metal objects to avoid attracting a strike," advised Messmann. If boaters find themselves caught in a storm, they should not attempt to race back to the harbor or dock. Rather, they should head for the nearest protected cove and stay there. If possible, boaters should tie up to shore with the bow facing into the wind. This, he explained, will lessen the chances of their boat being swamped. "Of course, the first thing a boater should do when caught by a storm, if they aren't wearing it already, is to put on their life jacket. Then, if the boater can't make it into a protected cove, they should face their vessel into the wind and .take oncoming waves at about a 45-degree angle. The boat must be moving fast enough to get up and over the waves but not so fast that it plows into the next wave nor so slow that the boat pitches end for end," Messmann explained. Boaters beading to lakes Mead and Mohave can get up- to-date weather information by calling the National Weather Service at 736-3854. Current wind conditions can be ob- tained by calling Wind Talker at the following numbers: Echo Bay, 394-4440; Callville Bay, 293-6391; Hemenway Harbor. 294-2400: and Cottonwood Cove. 297-1265. This service is provided by the Clark County Boating Facilities Committee. Fishing Report by Geoff SckMider Nevada Divisiom of Wildfifi LAKE MEAD- Striped bass fishing has been unprectable during the past week with some anglers reporting good success while others have had no luck. Shore anglers have reported they have had good success at Boxcar Cove and Crawdad Cove. Stripers are also being caught in coves north of Boxcar. Largemouth bass fishing continues to be fair for boaters who are fishing along sheer cliffs. Some bass arc also being found in coves and are rising to take top water lures. LAKE MOHAVE- Several large striped bass were caught from shore late last week by anglers who were casting large surface lures. One fisherman reported catching stripers that weighed seven and 11 pounds. Small stripers continue to be caught from the north power lines h. to Aztec Wash. Trolling deep with whole anchovies has been catclung fish that weigh from one to two pounds. Cottonwood East in the South Basin has also been producing small stripers for trollers. WAYNE E. KIRCH WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA - Fishing has been fair for rainbow trout but slow for largemouth bass. The better action fortrout has been taking place at Haymeadow Reservoir. A large group of banters is expected to be on the management area Saturday, October 4, for the opening of duck hunting season. EAGLE VALLEY RESERVOIR- Even though water con- ditions have improved since the recent flood, trout fishing contin- ues to be poor. This week NDOW biologists are using an electro fishing boat to survey the lake's fish population. This will  how much fish loss occurred as a result of the flood. " ECHO CANYON RFERVOIR. Rainbow trout and large- mouth bass fishing are fair. Very few crappie have been seen in the catch during the past week. SCHROEDER RESERVOIR - Rainbow trout fishing re- mains slow in the lake, but good in the stream below the dam. J