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Roosevelt lake levels on downward trend

RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1278.4 feet today in a drop that was predicted to be around 1 foot in a 24 hour period.

The elevation of Lake Roosevelt is expected to drop by about 1/2 foot per day over the next week. It is antipated the elevation will be about 1274 by the end of next week, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. 

Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet the minimum tailwater requirement of 13.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum.

The flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt have changed based on the February water supply forecast. January turned out to be a dry month and currently the forecast does not call for significant precipitation into the near future. The water inflow forecast from January - July into Lake Roosevelt is 89% of average.

The flood control levels are the maximum elevation for Lake Roosevelt. Other factors such as power demand or supplying water downstream for fish can result in elevations under the flood control elevations.

The flood control elevations are as follows:

  • Feb. 28 - 1290 feet
  • March 31 - 1282.3 feet
  • April 30 - 1260.8 feet

These elevations can and probably will change with the March water supply forecast.

This is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.

Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

Also, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Lake Roosevelt water levels temporarily rising

RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1274.85 at midnight last night and is expected to 
slowly rise over the next week.

The Bureau of Reclamation anticipates the elevation for the end of next week will be in the 1277 - 1279 range.

Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet power demand and also the minimum tailwater requirement of 13.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum.

The flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt have been issued based on the January water supply forecast. These levels are the maximum elevation for Lake Roosevelt. Other factors such as power demand can result in elevations under the flood control elevations.

The flood control elevations are as follows:

  • January 31 - 1290 feet

  • February 28 - 1290 feet

  • March 31 - 1266.4 feet

  • April 30 - 1235.7 feet

     These elevations can and probably will change with the February water supply forecast.

  • This is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.

    Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

    Also, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Superintendent named for Lake Roosevelt, Ice Age Floods parks

    PUBLIC LANDS — Dan Foster, a 20-year National Park Service employee, has been named superintendent for Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area and Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.

    Foster is replacing Debbie Bird, who retired after serving as Lake Roosevelt superintendent since 2002.

    Foster will leave his current position as superintendent at Niobrara National Scenic River in Nebraska and report in February for his new assignment at Grand Coulee, Wash.

    Pacific West Regional Director Chris Lehnertz said Foster has experience working with neighboring communities, multiple agencies, tribal governments, military branches, and the public. 

    Foster’s National Park Service resume includes positions as a resource management specialist at Bryce Canyon National Park, and chief of resource management at Nez Perce National Historical Park and Wind Cave National Park.  He has been superintendent at Niobrara National Scenic River since 2008. 

    Prior to federal service, Foster was a wildlife biologist and geologist for the Utah Department of Natural Resources for eleven years.

    Foster received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife and range management from Brigham Young University.  He and his wife Trena have three children.  Among other pursuits, Foster says he is an ardent fly fisherman.

    The parks that Foster will oversee are close in proximity, but quite different in nature.

    Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area consists largely of a portion of the reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River with relatively small land areas adjacent to the lake. It encompasses varied resources, ranging from historic Fort Spokane to numerous native fish and other wildlife, and even submerged cultural resources beneath the lake’s surface. The park was established in 1946 after the completion of the dam, and receives over a million visitors a year.

    Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail was created less than a decade ago, and highlights the significant geologic features of the massive floods that scoured the landscape of the interior Columbia Basin at the end of the last ice age. Since multiple agencies and organizations will continue to manage the lands where these features are found, the trail will provide a way to unify the story of how the larger landscape ties those features together.

    Simple rig catches Lake Roosevelt trout from shore or boat

    FISHING — Lake Roosevelt rainbows like those pictured above can be caught November-March from shore as well as from a boat by casting a bait rig. Look for a shoreline shelf under 10-15 feet of water and cast near the drop-off into deeper water.

    A proven rig cast from a spinning rod includes:

    • 8-pound monofilament line.
    • 24-30 inches of 10-pound leader (extra heavy to take a beating with fewer breakoffs) below a snap swivel and 3/8- to 1/2-ounce sliding sinker.
    • No. 2 bait hook baited with a mini-marshmallow or PowerBait and piece of nightcrawler.

    Experienced anglers have a half dozen hook-and-leader rigs ready to change onto the snap swivel if necessary so they can keep fishing when the bite is on. Keeping at least one rig in the water as a school of rainbows circulates through an area is an excellent application for the two-pole endorsement. 

    The rainbows tend to be most active for a short period in early morning and again in the afternoon, although they can be caught throughout the day and night.

    A five-fish limit of rainbow trout from Lake Roosevelt is a beauty to behold in December, when the fish released from net pens in summer have had a chance to go wild putting on length and girth.

    These are healthy, lovely and delicious fish.

    Lake Roosevelt trout a picture of perfection

    FISHING — A five-fish limit of rainbow trout from Lake Roosevelt is a beauty to behold in December, when the fish released from net pens in summer have had a chance to go wild putting on length and girth.

    These are healthy, lovely and delicious fish.

    Limits have been coming easily on most days since mid November, although Wednesday was an exception.  Anglers I fished with and interviewed had to work long, hard hours to scratch out a limit.

    Today could be a different story.

    Parasites are natural in ducks, fish; but they’re still nasty

    HUNTING/FISHING — My outdoors column this week discusses some of the disturbing parasites waterfowl hunters and anglers have discovered in the ducks and fish they've harvested in the Inland Northwest.

    They're natural; been around for a long time, and in most cases the game and fish are still safe to eat — as far as we know — as long as you cook the meat to at least 180 degrees.

    But would I eat visibly parasitized meat?  What do you think?

    • Waterfowlers: The photo above shows a mallard infested with the sarcocystis parasite, better known as "rice breast." 
    • Fishermen: Click on the document attached to this blog post to see the pamphlet "Common Parasites and Diseases in Washington Fish," prepared by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
    • Hunters note that the meat of rabbits, bears and cougars also must be thoroughly cooked to prevent exposure to serious diseases: tularemia and trichinosis.

    Documents:

    Lake Roosevelt water levels holding steady

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1283.70 at 9 a.m. today (Sept. 28).

    The lake level is expected to remain in the 1283-1284 range through next week.

    These are only predictions are subject to change.

    Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Lake Roosevelt boat fueling ends Sunday

    BOATING — Lake Roosevelt's on-water fueling and minimal services will end for the season on Sunday (Sept. 30) at 5 p.m. at Keller Ferry and Seven Bays.

    Info: (509) 725-7229 or (509) 647-5755.

    Lake Roosevelt water levels trending higher for Labor Day

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1280.60 at 9 a.m. today following about three weeks of gradually lower levels.

    Over the next week, the level of Lake Roosevelt will decline slightly and is expected to be between 1278.7 – 1279.70 on Aug. 31, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

    Over the Labor Day weekend the level of the lake will rise slightly and is predicted to be in the 1280-1281 range.

    These are only predictions are subject to change.

    Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.
      

    Lake Roosevelt trends to lower water levels

    BOATING — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1284.60 at 8 a.m. today and levels will continue to gradually drop over the next week, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation at Grand Coulee Dam.

    Predicted elevations by the end of next week are in the 1280-1281 range. (Full pool is 1290)

    In order to meeting court ordered Biological Opinion targets and the Lake Roosevelt Incremental Storage target, the predicted elevation for August 31 is 1279.7. These are only predictions are subject to change with changing weather conditions, high power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies. 

    Get daily lake level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Roosevelt headed to full pool by by July 4

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt is about 1284 on June 22.

    The lake is continuing to fill and spill is occurring over the drum gates at Grand Coulee Dam. The peak of the spring runoff is expected in the next two weeks. In addition, increased rainfall has resulted in high inflows into Lake Roosevelt. The predicted amount of rise in lake level is anticipated to be approximately 1 foot per day over the next week. The level of the lake is expected to be 1288 by June 30. The lake is expected to continue to rise .5-.75 feet per day, reaching the full pool elevation of 1290 on July 4.

    Be cautious while recreating on Lake Roosevelt over the 4th of July holiday as the lake level will rise and a limited amount of beach will be available around the lake. Shoreline campers are advised to camp well away from the water’s edge.

    For a daily lake level forecast call 1-800-824-4916. This forecast is updated at 3 p.m. each day.

    Lake Roosevelt levels continue upward trend

    RESERVOIRS — The elevation of Lake Roosevelt was 1254.6 feet at 10 a.m. today.

    The lake is continuing to fill. The predicted amount of rise is expected to be up to 1 foot a day over the next week. The level of the lake is expected to be in the 1265-1266 by the end of next week. 

    Daily lake level forecast by phone: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Lake Roosevelt levels rising for holiday weekend

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1248.90 at 9 a.m. today as the lake continues to fill. The Bureau of Reclamation predicts the levels will continue to rise up to 1 foot a day over the next week.

    Through the Memorial Day weekend the level of the lake is anticipated to be in the 1250-1253 range.

    Daily lake level forecast by phone: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.


      

    Lake Roosevelt levels looking up for Memorial Day

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1243.30 at 10 a.m. today as it continues to rise slowly.

    "The prediction calls for the level of the lake to be in the 1245-1246 range for this weekend," the Bureau of Reclamation says. "Next week the level of the lake is predicted to rise less than 1 foot per day resulting in the lakel level being in the 1250-1252 range over Memorial Day weekend."

    Daily lake level forecast by phone: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Lake Roosevelt refill levels off for time being

    RESERVOIRS — After a fairly rapid rise in early May, the level of Lake Roosevelt was 1238 at 8 a.m. today and  predicted to stay at fairly stable levels for a while.

    "Inflows have decreased over the last week, but are expected to increase slightly in the coming week," the Bureau of Reclamation says. "At this time, the prediction is that the lake level will remain fairly stable over the weekend and rise slightly next week. At this time we anticipate a daily rise from 0-1/2 foot (6 inches). If the weather warms or there is increased precipitation, then there may be an increase in the daily rise of lake levels.

    Daily lake level forecast by phone: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.


      

    Lake Roosevelt levels rising up to 2 feet a day

    RESERVOIRS — The spring runoff continues to allow operators to raise the water level of Lake Roosevelt.

     Over the next week, the level is predicted to rise 0.2  to 1 foot a day, the Bureau of Reclamation says.

     Spill through the outlet tubes on the face of the dam is occurring intermittently to control the rate of rise in Lake Roosevelt. "There is a large quantity of snowpack to the north of Lake Roosevelt and we want to ensure we have enough room in the lake for what is to come," BuRec said in a release.

    Daily lake level forecast by phone: (800) 824-4916.

    Better yet, check out this new NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

    Roosevelt levels, boat ramp access on 1 online chart

    RESERVOIRS — As the water level in Lake Roosevelt continues to rise behind Grand Coulee Dam, more boat ramps are becoming viable again and anglers are becoming more versatile.

    A nifty new NOAA hydrograph web page helps boaters with constantly updated information on lake levels, projected elevation changes and boat ramp launching levels.  It also shows when the lake is too low for running the Gifford and Keller Ferries.

    "I recently added low-water impacts to the web page with the short term Lake Roosevelt forecast to help prevent more recreationists from hauling their boats out only to find their ramp high and dry," said Katherine Rowden, the National Weather Service hydrologist who helped worked up the site. 

    "The 'Low Flow' line on the hydrograph is when the Gifford Ferry stops running (first significant impact), but if you scroll down below the map, I've also listed all the boat ramps (per elevations on the Park Service's website) so folks can match up current and forecasted levels if they have a certain spot they like to launch from.

    "The forecast is updated daily and incorporates planned reservoir operations."

    Lake Roosevelt drawdown turns corner; levels heading up

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1231 feet this morning.

    The spring runoff has begun and the level of Lake Roosevelt has begun rising. Over the next week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation predicts the level will rise 1-2 feet per day.

    See the Roosevelt current lake level chart.

    Check here for the minimum boat launch elevations to determine which are out of water.

    Drawdown bares Roosevelt shores; driving not allowed

    RESERVOIRS — From all indications, the Lake Roosevelt drawdown will continue into May with a possibility of lake elevations going to 1220 feet or lower. That's grim for anglers who will see another year of fish pouring over the dam and out of the reservoir.  Full pool is 1290 feet above sea level.

    Expanses of bare shoreline will be showing in upcoming weeks. 

    As lake level goes down, boat launch ramps will begin to close with all ramps being closed if the elevation goes below 1222 feet. 

    In order to prevent archaeological and resource damage, driving on the drawdown is not allowed, Lake Roosvelt National Recreation Area officials say.

    Lake Roosevelt levels continue dropping 1.5 feet a day

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1232.5 feet at noon today and will continue declining about 1.5 feet a day through the rest of the month to reach the flood control elevation of 1220.2. 

    The plan could change, since there's still an above-average snowpack remaining in the upper Columbia River drainages.

     Inflows into Lake Roosevelt are expected to increase this week.

    See the Roosevelt current lake level chart.

    Spring Canyon and Seven Bays will be the ony sure bets for boat launching by Sunday.

    Check here for the minimum boat launch elevations to determine which are out of water.

    Lake Roosevelt levels dropping 1.5 feet a day

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1241.90 this moring and continuing to drop about 1.5 feet a day. That rate forecast to continue at least through the rest of the month to reach the flood control elevation of 1220.2.

    The plan could change, since there's still an above-average snowpack remaining in the upper Columbia River drainages.

    Next week the inflows into Lake Roosevelt are expected to increase.

    See the Roosevelt current lake level chart.

    Check here for the minimum boat launch elevations to determine which are out of water.

      

    Time running out on early discount for Lake Roosevelt boat launch permits

    NATIONAL PARKS — Boaters and anglers can save money buy buying their season boat launch permit for Lake Roosevelt before the end of April.

    A launch permit is required at all designated National Park Service-managed ramps regardless of the type of vessel.

    Without a season permit, boaters pay on site a $6 fee for a permit valid for seven days.

    2011 season launch permits cost $30 if purchased by April 30. After that, the cost increases to $40.

    Federal Golden Age, Golden Access and Interagency Senior or Access Pass cardholders, fees get 50 percent off.

    Read on for details on where to purchase the boat launch permits.

    Lake Roosevelt levels continue downward trend

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was about 1244 feet this morning and the Bureau of Reclamation says it will continue dropping at the rate of 1.3 - 1.5 foot per day through the rest of April.

    The flood control elevation for April 30 is 1220.2

    This is not a good prescription for the comeback of trout and kokanee populations that were flushed out of the Lake Roosevelt system by deep drawdowns lat year. We may be looking at another bad year for fish.

    Precipitation increased dramatically during March. The inflow forecast for Lake Roosevelt is 108% of average and the Dalles forecast is 111% of average.

    For a daily forecast call (800) 824-4916. This forecast is updated at 3 p.m. each day.

    See the Roosevelt current lake level chart.

    Check here for the minimum boat launch elevations to determine which are out of water.

    Spring closure limits upper Columbia anglers, protects spawning rainbows

    FISHING — Washington regulations prohibit fishing March 1-May 25 in two stretches of the upper Columbia River (listed under Lake Roosevelt rules) near Northport.

    Today's Fishing-Hunting report in the Sports section said anglers have been catching big spawnng rainbows near gravel bars in the Northport area.

    Well, they'd better be careful where they're doing that.

    The report did not mention anglers lobbied two years ago for the spawning closures, which prohibit fishing in stretches that include the mouths of Sheep Creek, Deep Creek and Onion Creek to protect the big rainbows at a vulnerable period.

    See details on page 96 of the 2011-2012 fishing regulations for definitions of the CLOSED WATERS, one stretch above Northport and one below.

    The photo above shows the boundary markers for those two stretches of water.

    Lake Roosevelt levels continue to drop

    COLUMBIA RIVER — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1259.10 this morning, as it continues to drop about a foot a day, a trend likely to continue for the next week at least.

    "With an increase in precipitation, the water supply forecast is increasing. As a result, the lake level is predicted to be approximately 1257 by March 31," the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports today, noting that Lake Roosevelt is now being operated for flood control.

    Based on the current forecast it is now estimated that the flood control elevation for Lake Roosevelt at the end of April will be in the 1220-1225 range.

    The official forecast will be available during the week of April 9 and the actual flood control elevation for the end of April will be set.

    Click here
    for more detail concerning the forecast for the Columbia River System.

     For a daily forecast call (800) 824-4916. This forecast is updated at 3 p.m. each day.
      

    Lake Roosevelt levels continue downward trend

    RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1265.10 at 11 a.m.

    The reservoir's elevation is expected to continue to decline over the next week. With an increase in precipitation, the water supply forecast appears to be increasing. As a result, the lake level is predicted to be approximately 1258 by March 31.

    Lake Roosevelt is now being operated for flood control and is continuing to meet power demand, Hanford Reach flows and tailwater flows for chum below Bonneville Dam.

    The March Water Forecast has the flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt as follows:

    • March 31 – 1268.4 feet
    • April 15 – 1252.4 feet
    • April 30 – 1237.0 feet

    For a forecast updated daily at 3 p.m., call (800) 824-4916.
      

    Lake Roosevelt levels continue downward trend

    RESERVOIRS — The elevation of Lake Roosevelt is slowly going down into the 1268-1264 feet range. Lake Roosevelt is now being operated for flood control and is continuing to meet power demand, Hanford Reach flows and tailwater flows for chum below Bonneville Dam.

    The March Water Forecast has been released by the Bureau of Reclamation. Flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt are as follows:

    • March 31 – 1268.4 feet
    • April 15 - 1252.4 feet
    • April 30 – 1237.0 feet


    For a daily forecast call 800-824-4916. This forecast is updated at 3 p.m. each day.
      

    Spokane Tribe offers bounty on Roosevelt walleyes

    FISHING — Word is out around the Big Horn Show that the Spokane Tribe has issued a bounty on walleyes payable to tribal members who bring in spawning-season fish from Lake Roosevelt, apparently from the Spokane Arm.

    Washington Fish and Wildlife Department officials confirm the tribe has some sort of bounty in place, but the regional fisheries manager with the details has not been available.

    The Spokane Tribe has not yet returned a called made this afternoon.

    Stay tuned.

    While I'm awaiting word from official sources, Andy Walgamott of Northwest Sportsman magazine has a little more on the issue.

    Lake Roosevelt levels begin downward trend

    BOATING — The level of Lake Roosevelt was at elevation 1277.60 at 7 a.m. this mornining and headed for a slight downward trend next week to the 1276-1278 range.

    The reservoir behind Grand Coulee Dam currently is being operated for power demand, Hanford Reach flows and to meet tailwater flows for chum below Bonneville Dam, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports.

    The February Water Supply Forecast has been released and contains flood control elevations.

    Flood control elevations are as follows:

    • February 31 – 1290 feet
    • March 31 – 1281.5 feet
    • April 30 – 1253.9 feet

    Flood control elevations are the MAXIMUM elevations for Lake Roosevelt to be able to accommodate the anticipated spring runoff. Lake levels can be lower due to increased demand for power, supplementing downstream flows for fish, emergencies, etc. This is the current situation in which the flood control elevation is above the actual level of the lake. The forecast is based upon the weather.

    The next flood control forecasts for March and April can and probably will change.

    For a daily forecast call (800) 824-4916. This forecast is updated at 3 p.m. each day.
      

    Roosevelt near full pool, but slight drop forecast

    COLUMBIA RIVER — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1288.31 at 8:06 a.m today.

    The elevation of Lake Roosevelt is expected to draft slightly and be operated in the 1286-1288 range over the next week, the Bureau of Reclamation says.  The reservoir is being operating the boost chum spawning in the lower Columbia River and for power. 

    Throughout the month of November lake levels are predicted to slightly decrease as chum spawning continues.

    Daily lake level forecast: (800) 824-4916. This forecast is updated at 3 p.m. each day.