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Lake Spokane winter drawdown starts Friday

The Spokane River, dubbed Long Lake or Lake Spokane behind the Long Lake Dam, pools behind the dam, which generates the most power of any dam on the river, Tuesday, July 9, 2008.  Avista Corp. will start lowering the reservoir behind Long Lake Dam starting Friday. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman Review)
The Spokane River, dubbed Long Lake or Lake Spokane behind the Long Lake Dam, pools behind the dam, which generates the most power of any dam on the river, Tuesday, July 9, 2008. Avista Corp. will start lowering the reservoir behind Long Lake Dam starting Friday. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman Review)

RESERVOIRS -- Avista Utilities will start to draw down the water level at Lake Spokane (Long Lake Reservoir) on Friday (Dec. 23).Operators expect to lower the reservoir up to a foot a day for two or three weeks until it reaches its winter elevation of 13 to 14 feet below maximum summer elevation of 1,536 feet.

Under the right weather conditions, which include sustained periods of single-digit temperatures and little or no snow on the exposed lakebed, the drawdown is expected to help control Eurasian watermilfoil and other invasive aquatic weeds found in Lake Spokane. The drawdown also allows shoreline homeowners the opportunity to complete state and locally permitted repair and construction projects along the lake shoreline.

Property owners and lake-users can should remove boats from the water and securing docks and boathouses to accommodate shifting ice and low-water conditions.

The lower winter elevation will be maintained as long as river flows allow. However, during the drawdown period water levels are subject to change due to a variety of factors, such as weather (rain on snow events in the upper drainages) or maintenance at the Long Lake Dam.

For updates, see Avista's website or check the 24-hour telephone info for Lake Spokane, the Spokane River and Coeur d’ Alene Lake. In Washington call (509) 495-8043; in Idaho call (208) 769-1357.




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Rich Landers
Rich Landers joined The Spokesman-Review in 1977. He is the Outdoors editor for the Sports Department writing and photographing stories about hiking, hunting, fishing, boating, conservation, nature and wildlife and related topics.

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