Fishing trip at Lake Powell leads to family making extraordinary discovery
(Photo credit: Liz Bowles) Historically low water levels at Lake Powell in Utah led to a fascinating discovery by one family. Liz Bowles was on a recent fishing trip with her family and said the water was so low on their trip that new areas they had never seen were exposed. “Where we camped is usually underwater,” Bowles told Fox 13 News in Salt Lake City. She said that the receded water line had exposed some litter, “a few things, like soda cans and things like that,” which she said she and family members cleaned up. Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado River in Utah and Arizona. It’s located in northern Arizona and stretches up into southern Utah. With 2,000 miles of shoreline, it’s a top vacation destination spot in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for tens of thousands every year. Liz Bowles said her family had never seen the Lake Powell shoreline in the condition like what they witnessed earlier this month. “It’s lower than we’ve ever seen with the water. It’s pretty crazy,” she told Fox 13 News. It wasn’t until the family members were heading back in their boats at the end of the trip that they made the incredible discovery. Bowles described how they came around a corner and spotted a shipwrecked boat jutting into the air. “It wasn’t until somebody had pointed out that it was all the way out of the water,” that they decided to investigate a little more closely, she told WXYZ-TV Channel 7. “So we just kind of puttered over to it and it was cool to see,” Bowles said. Bowles and her family were able to get out of their boats and walk right up to the old shipwreck where they found items like silverware, an old shoe and even the hide-a-key still stuck to the boat with keys inside, she recalled. “We tried to not disturb it too much, because we don’t know how secure it is there and we didn’t want anyone to get hurt,” Bowles told Fox 13 News. “But we could see that there had been some people that had tried to recover it at some point. There were straps on it and things like that, that they were obviously unsuccessful getting the boat out of the water.” They did use the chance to take some incredible photos to immortalize the remarkable discovery, however. According to local news reports, U.S. water officials are projecting that man-made lakes that store water used throughout the American West — which includes Lake Powell — will fall to “historically low levels and trigger an official shortage declaration for the first time.” Heather Patno, a hydraulic engineer at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in the Upper Colorado Basin, said Lake Powell is at 36 percent capacity right now but is projected to hit 31 percent capacity this year. “The levels that we’re projected to reach haven’t been seen since it started filling in 1969,” Patno told local news in Salt Lake City. That means many people visiting Lake Powell this year will experience some locations as they’ve never seen them before, areas that were previously underwater. “And as people explore different areas of Powell, they’re going to have a new experience,” Patno said. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released projections last week forecasting that less Colorado River water will fill Lake Powell and Lake Mead, which could result in water shortages for residents in Arizona. However, according to KVOA-TV in Tucson, “The April projections don’t have binding impact because federal officials use the forecast released each August to make decisions about how to allocate river water.” Click here to view webcams of Lake Powell on the National Park Service website. Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.