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Lake Roosevelt water level close to full pool

WATERSPORTS — The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1287.70 feet above sea level today and is expected to remain in the range of 1286 - 1288 for the next week, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation reports. Spill may occur intermittently. Full pool behind Grand Coulee Dam is 1290 feet. 

  • Get daily Lake Roosevelt level forecast by phone, updated daily at 3 p.m: (800) 824-4916.
  • Check out this post with a link to a NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Lake Roosevelt water levels heading up

BOATING — Spring runoff has kicked into gear in the Columbia Basin, reversing the drawdown at Lake Roosevelt. The water level behind Grand Coulee Dam is going up.

"We are beginning refill of the lake," said Lynne Brougher of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. The level had been drawn down to an elevation of 1231 feet to accommodate the runoff.

The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1237 feet above sea level today, having come up 4 feet since Friday. 

"It is anticipated the lake level will be in the 1240 -1245 range by the end of the week," she said this morning.

The rising levels will gradually allow more boat launches to be opened.

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

Check out this post with a link to a NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

 

Goodbye fish: Roosevelt levels plunging to elevation 1231 feet

FISHING/BOATING — Lake Roosevelt’s water elevation will be down to 1231 feet by Sunday to make room for heavy runoff expected in May, the Bureau of Reclamation reports today.

There have been worse years for spring drawdowns at Lake Roosevelt in the past decade, but as my recent story explains, anglers can expect a high percentage of the trout and kokanee to be flushed through Grande Coulee Dam when the drawdown goes below 1,240 feet.

Fish are going bye-bye. The amount of fish left for next  winter's fishing for carryovers will depend on how quickly the runoff comes and the reservoir refills.  

It's important at this point to compare the lake level with the levels at which boat ramps are dewatered.  At 1231 feet, only four ramps will still reach the water: Spring Canyon, Seven Bays, Keller Ferry and Hunters Camp.

Spring Canyon near Grand Coulee and Seven Bays downstream on the Columbia from the Spokane Arm are the deepest launches on the 125-mile long reservoir.

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

Check out this post with a link to a NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Lake Roosevelt levels holding, but deep drawdown forecast

BOATING — The level of Lake Roosevelt is near the elevation of 1,272 feet today, March 12, and lake levels are expected to remain between 1,270-1,273 for the next week., according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

However, a significant drawdown is expected based on current snowpack levels, and that's not great news to anglers who enjoy the trout and kokanee fishing at Lake Roosevelt.  The amount of carryover fish — the beauties anglers have been catching this winter — can be sharply reduced by big drawdowns that flush fish over Grand Coulee Dam and out of the reservoir.

 Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet power demand and the minimum tail water requirement of 11.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum and the 65 kcfs minimum Hanford Reach protection flows below Priest Rapids Dam.

The March Water Supply Forecasts show the inflow forecast for Lake Roosevelt is 98% of average. The forecast for the Dalles is 102% of average.  This forecast reflects the significant precipitation that was received during the month of February.
The following are flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt:

  • January 31 - 1290 feet
  • February 31 - 1290 feet
  • March 31 – 1266.8 feet
  • April 31 – 1236.7 feet

The next Water Supply Forecast will be updated the week of April 7 and flood control elevations may change.

Get links to river flows in this region at The Spokesman-Review Outdoors topics page.

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

Check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Lake Roosevelt levels holding fairly stable

RIVERS — The level of Lake Roosevelt  near the elevation of 1,273 feet today and lake levels are expected to remain between 1,271-1,273 this week, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet power demand and the minimum tail water requirement of 11.5 feet below Bonneville Dam for chum and the 65 kcfs minimum Hanford Reach protection flows below Priest Rapids Dam.

The February Water Supply Forecasts indicated that Lake Roosevelt's inflow potential is 82% of average. The forecast for the Dalles is 83% of average.  Due to a relatively dry January, flood control elevations have risen since last month.

The following are flood control elevations for Lake Roosevelt:

  • January 31 - 1290 feet
  • February 31 - 1290 feet
  • March 31 – 1283.3 feet
  • April 31 – 1282.7 feet

The next Water Supply Forecast will be updated the week of March 10 and flood control elevations are expected to change.  February has seen an increase in precipitation and it is expected the March forecast will reflect this change. 

Get links to river flows in this region at The Spokesman-Review Outdoors topics page.

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

Check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Tribes angling to get authority to middle of Lake Roosevelt

FISHING — Here we go again.

A reader called Thursday and said he was told the Colville and Spokane tribes were trying to get authority to govern — and possibly to require tribal fishing licenses for non-tribal anglers — out to the middle of the Columbia River along Lake Roosevelt where it borders their reservations.

This would fly in the face of the Cassidy Court Decision that settled this dispute in the 1990s.

Today I've confirmed that the Tribes have been meeting with officials from several federal agencies including the National Park Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Dan Foster, supervisor of the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, responded to my query this morning: 

Both the Spokane Tribe of Indians and Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation have requested a delegation of authority from the Department of Interior to enforce tribal fishing regulations on areas within their reservations included in Lake Roosevelt. The request is under consideration by the department.

Minor fluctuations in Roosevelt levels expected

BOATING — The elevation of Lake Roosevelt was 1278 feet Wednesday and is expected to range from 1270 to 1278 through mid-February as the dam operates primarily for providing power, the Bureau of Reclamation reports.

Although local snowpacks are thin, the status of the Columbia  Basin, which ranges well into Canada, is bright for Columbia River hydropower and fish. Says the Bureau:

The January Water Supply Forecasts have been issued. Currently the inflow forecast for Lake Roosevelt is 95% of average. The forecast for the Dalles is 97% of average.

The following are flood control elevations forecast for Lake Roosevelt but subject change:

  • January 31 - 1290 feet
  • February 31 - 1290 feet
  • March 31 - 1276.8 feet
  • April 31 - 1243.2 feet

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

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

Lake Roosevelt levels declining slightly

RESERVOIRS — The level of Lake Roosevelt had peaked and was at elevation 1287.50 feet this morning. The lake levels are expected to continue slowly decreasing over the next week into the 1285-1286 feet range by July 3.  

Over the holiday weekend, lake levels are expected to rise by up to 6 inches a day.  The lake is expected to come to near the full pool elevation during the week of July 8. Full pool is 1290 feet.

High levels at Lake Roosevelt reduce the beach area available for camping and picnicking. Levels drop in August for hydropower needs and providing flows for Columbia River salmon. This exposes more beaches making August prime time for campers on the 130-mile-long lake.

Meanwhile:

Dworshak Reservoir is at full pool. In this case, it provides the best access of the year to the mini-camps the Corps of Engineers has built along the rervoir near Orofino, Idaho.

Get links to river flows in this region at The Spokesman-Review Outdoors topics page.

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

Check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.

Watch where you camp: Lake Roosevelt levels rising, rivers drop

 

RIVERS — The level of Lake Roosevelt rose to an elevation of nearly 1,271 feet today and lake levels are expected to continue rising up to a foot a day over the next week into the 1,277 range by May 31.

Holiday weekend campers should prepare for water to rise along the lake shores.

Elsewhere in the region, the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe rivers continue to drop after a short upward blip from the rain on Tuesday.

— Get links to river flows in this region at The Spokesman-Review Outdoors topics page.

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

— Check out this NOAA site with Roosevelt levels and a list of boat launching elevations on the same page.