Las Vegas Wash

Thursday November 7th 2019

I took another trip to the Clark County Wetlands Park today. The weather is still beautiful, so I wanted to get in another walk before it gets a little cooler and windy in the weeks to come. Today I spent my time along the Las Vegas Wash.

Las Vegas strip across the valley from the Clark County Wetlands Park.

The Las Vegas Wash is the primary water flow out of the Las Vegas valley. Historically, it carried spring water and rain runoff from the valley to the Colorado River east of the valley. Now it also carries all of the water used, but not expended in the valley into Lake Mead. The Clark County Wetlands park is along the side of the current wash down stream from the treatment plant. A clear rock lined channel has been created for the wash to flow through. Serious erosion and flooding were prevalent before dams and channels were developed. The wetlands park still gets water from the wash and can flood during big rain events in the valley. The area along the main channel has lots of debris from flood events. Somehow it just adds an urban quality to the park and wash.

I saw lots of birds and people today. The standout bird was a big white Great Egret and the standout people were a group of school kids on an outing. Listening to a park volunteer trying to explain that the orange fish in one of the ponds was because someone released a little goldfish from a home aquarium was amusing. The kids seem to think it meant someone flushed the fish down the toilet rather than directly into the pond.

Overall I probably walked about two miles over the course of two hours. I spent a lot of time on the pedestrian bridge over the wash watching the birds and the white water. On the way back to the car I paused at every little water hole to see what I could see. For the most part the ponds were quiet.

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