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Lake Roosevelt water levels forecast predicts average year

Lake Roosevelt levels forecast for 2017. (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)
Lake Roosevelt levels forecast for 2017. (U.S. Bureau of Reclamation)

WATERSPORTS -- The forecast has been released for water levels at Lake Roosevelt this spring as water managers predict how how much the Columbia River reservoir will be drawn down to accommodate spring runoff and how fast it will refill to summer elevations of 1,280-1,290 feet above sea level.

With the Water Supply Forecast at about 97 percent of average, boaters and anglers can expect a modest drawdown and relatively brief inconveniences of dewatered boat launching ramps, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation figures show.

The predicted drawdown to elevation 1,256 feet in April is not nearly as severe as that month in 2012, when a big runoff forced the lowering of the reservoir to 1,227 feet.

The level of Lake Roosevelt was 1,281.20 feet above sea level at 9 a.m. today. The elevation is anticipated to hold steady and be in the 1,280-1,282 range throughout January.

The Flood Control end of month elevation forecasts for Lake Roosevelt are:

  • January 31: 1290 feet
  • February 28: 1290 feet
  • March 31: 1283.3 feet
  • April 10: 1272.8 feet (for BiOp requirements)
  • April 30: 1256.4 feet

The Bureau of Reclamation explains:

The flood control elevations will be updated during the second week of February and may change. Flood control is the MAXIMUM allowable level of the lake in order to be able to accommodate the spring runoff. Elevations may be lower than the flood control elevation due to power operations, river operations, drum gate maintenance, emergency situations or other unforeseen circumstances.

The lake level target provided in this report is only a prediction and subject to change without notice due to power operations, river operations, emergency situations or other unforeseen circumstances.

Get daily lake 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.

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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