Lake Havasu – open or closed?
LAKE HAVASU CITY – Whether the lake should be closed or left open for recreation during the COVID-19 outbreak is a controversial subject in Lake Havasu City. City Manager Jess Knudson told Lake Havasu City council members Tuesday that the community is passionately divided.
“There have been many, many calls, emails and other communications from our residents. We hear from residents who feel strongly about keeping the lake open,” Knudson said. “We hear from residents who feel strongly that the lake should be shut down. I talk to seniors who are scared for their lives and I talk to those who know the seriousness of the pandemic, including those who want to come to Havasu for the weekend.”
Separate petitions have circulated in the community. One argues that social distancing can allow safe recreation while the other says the waterway should be shut down to prevent possible spread of the virus.
Ultimately, the City has no say in the matter Knudson said.
“The question we receive quite often is who has the authority to close the lake,” Knudson said. “Lake Havasu and the lower Colorado river is a federal waterway and clearly the City does not have that power.”
Knudson said some residents have asked that highway 95 be shut down to keep spring break students and other visitors away from the community.
“The state of Arizona is the entity with the authority to restrict, minimize or remain unchanged the comings and goings of visitors and tourists,” Knudson said. He told council members that coronavirus management has been a whirlwind.
“I never could have imagined the conversations that I’ve had in the last few weeks, asking non-essential businesses to do the right thing and close their doors, asking tourists who want to come to Havasu for the weekend to stay out of Havasu and suspend their travel plans,” Knudson said. “It’s been an out of body experience at times.”
Mohave County Department of Public Health Director Denise Burley video-conferenced into the meeting. She delivered the same type of report and information that she’s been presenting at special Board of Supervisors meetings held three times each week.
“I would just like to say Denise ‘thank you so much’ for all the hard work your department has done,” said council member Donna McCoy. “It makes us feel so much better knowing that we’ve got the numbers coming in and that we know the progress is happening. I know you guys are working really diligently and we all appreciate it so very much.”
April 16, 2020 @ 4:10 pm
I love our city and love being able to be on my Vortex, the LAKE. I can understand the concerns of our locals. Being in the lake this past weekend and seeing boats and people mooring in hideout Coves was a little concerning for our community.
Suggest maybe have a volunteer, BLM or state patrol for congregations.
Best of both worlds & happy medium.
Enjoy the lake without mooring it will stop the big speed boats from capsizing the smaller boats with their large wakes or waves.
Respect the Lake and Covid-19. Both can take a life.
April 16, 2020 @ 4:58 pm
Of course there will always be a division between those who hold access to their recreation above the public’s general safety. As long as the threat from CV19 and its spread is real, and it appears that it is, and other communities and states close down all their opportunities to recreate – they will continue to come here – against their stay at home orders, and spread the virus. Until our adjoining states infection rates go down to December levels, we should close the draw of the lake now. We can open it up in September and everyone can safely access it then. I think keeping it open is risky, and I love being on the water as much as anyone else. I’m a 40 year boater and resident of Havasu. Public safety should be a higher concern than lake access for Californians who are bored. LEt them come back when its a little safer!
April 16, 2020 @ 7:38 pm
I think the lake should be closed!! Come on guys..Californians will come here and invade our stores and gas stations stocking up on party supplies…beer, beer, beer…do you think they are going to honor any kind of rules!!? Seriously?! I’m ran a microbiology lab in college and I’m a biochemist …
And if you dont stop this crap now…you are going to be soooo sorry. It’s not here..YET. but it will arrive via 40 and 95. Good luck!!
April 16, 2020 @ 9:00 pm
The lake does need to be shut down during the pandemic. I have neighbors who are coming here every weekend from CA and bringing friends. They have a house here and a boat. If the lake was closed, it might keep them from coming. It is a shame that people can be so ignorant and inconsiderate of other people’s lives.
April 16, 2020 @ 9:52 pm
The ONLY risky thing today about going on the Lake was that we HAD to Accept a piece of paper advising us of Social Distancing and Hand Washing. The passing of this paper should be DISCONTINUED Immediately if people have already received it! We had to use a Precious SaniWipe to take it into the vehicle as the Employee is FORCED to give it even tho we already received it 3 days ago! Be Reasonable. Stay 6’ away from our Vehicle (and our face). Other than that we are at least 25’ from other people and provided a wonderful Break from the Stress. Keep the Lake Open but Please Stop giving out paper that has already been provided (note the license plate or the Permit provided!).
April 17, 2020 @ 12:33 am
For one, the lake should remain open, as for the so called no morning in the channel that’s BS, I see family’s basking in the sun where boats could be parked. Most boats are at least 12 ft apart, but people are closer. Can u tell me who’s brilliant idea was this? That person needs a wake up call, and I’m being nice.
April 17, 2020 @ 8:34 am
So if the Lake is open are vacation rentals essential businesses? I have now lost 4 months income so if they’re not I hope by 6 months loss income say by June we can open our city up!
April 17, 2020 @ 9:31 am
This position of Havasu’s Mayor in this article, regarding the lake being open or closed, requires more specific information explained to this city’s’ citizens, so we can better understand the facts. For example: How is it legally the state’s responsibility when people are gathering on city property, on city facilities and infrastructure? Is all access to the lake on state property? Or did Havasu legally relinquish all jurisdictional authority regarding access to the lake at one time? Mayor: Please explain in MORE detail as to how the city has no authority on this question? We are living amongst a huge tourist draw that remains open at the same time that a highly contagious pandemic is loose in this county with the numbers growing every day. I believe the Havasu citizens deserve a better explanation than “It’s the state’s call,” which we have already heard. With respect and gratitude for your service to this city. Thank you.
April 18, 2020 @ 8:53 am
Ramps should be closed to locals only and no mooring allowed on any land in Az thank you
April 19, 2020 @ 3:53 pm
In my opinion I think it is to late to close the lake, even if we could. BUT i do think that closing hwy 95 both north and south would be of great help to keep some of the ones that have the systems or the virus its self out of the city.
April 22, 2020 @ 3:41 pm
I’ve personally seen 5 New York plates in town in the past week! Also went to the island to see how “Socially distanced” people were. Their was literally not one place to park at that beach nor the park on the island by the channel. I for one vote for the 95 to be shut down! Plates from all over the country continue to come in and out if our community thus bringing whatever sickness they may have or not even know about and bringing it into our town. Shut I down I say!
April 29, 2020 @ 1:37 pm
Close them they can come next year this year should be all about health,I cant fly to calif now to see my family due to the virus , so why should visitors come here at this time its just really childish
April 29, 2020 @ 2:19 pm
Not one person has said anything about the fine or jail time if you dont listen to you Governor and the executive order ! What is it ?
May 7, 2020 @ 2:40 pm
Wait a minute …I live by Parker Dam year round and my Insurance covers doctors/ hospital/ER/ Lab work/Radiology around the Snowbirds? We pay Taxes here and just because they arrive here we have no existence, no rights to use what our taxes are paying for. What…CA UT NV don’t have things that can do OR we don’t have fees in the Desert as in dumping and throwing trash all around, no life preserver, going all type of speeds so canoes and kayaks haven’t a chance all on the Colorado River M-mmmmm?
July 9, 2022 @ 12:00 pm
I am a Californian. My opinion really doesnt matter but I am going to give it anyways. Not sure what exactly is going on here, but in my opinion….if you have local businesses shut down due to Covid 19 still or again, then by all means you should have the water ways shut down also! I am a big fan of the lake and the river! Been going for years! But if the local businesses cant be open, then tourism should be shut down also for health safety sake. I do believe that there are a lot of senior citizens that reside in Havasu? Bullhead? etc. Do it for their health safety and the safety of all children going and living there!