Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 28° Clear

Outdoors blog

Lake Coeur d’Alene annual drawdown can’t come too soon for fish

The Spokane River was flowing at 741 cubic feet per second on Aug. 30, 2016. The river is shown here at from People’s Park at the confluence of Hangman Creek.
The Spokane River was flowing at 741 cubic feet per second on Aug. 30, 2016. The river is shown here at from People’s Park at the confluence of Hangman Creek.

WATERSPORTS -- The annual drawdown of Lake Coeur d’Alene to winter pool levels will beg on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Avista will increase flows out of Post Falls Dam to gradually lower the lake about a foot from full pool by the end of September, the company says in a release.

The lake will be lowered an additional 1½ feet a month until reaching its natural winter level.

Dam licensing agreements required the lake to be filled to summer full-pool elevation of 2,128 feet from as early as practical in the spring until the Tuesday following Labor Day.

The lake has dropped more than three inches below the full-pool, which has prompted Avista to temporarily decrease flows from 600 cubic feet per second to the bare minimum of 500 cfs at Post Falls Dam.

The Sierra Club and other conservation groups have spoken out saying that dropping to 500 cfs is bad for fish and robs the aquifer of water. 

Flows will increase in the Spokane River downstream of Post Falls when the drawdown begins. The Post Falls boat launch and river below the Spokane Street bridge will remain open for recreation until November, except for a couple of days in September when tests are conducted at the South Channel Dam.



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.

Follow Rich online:




Go to the full Outdoors page