Good news for fishermen, boaters and travelers relying on the Gifford-Inchelium Ferry: The Corps of Engineers and Bureau of Reclamation announced last week that they were halting continuation of the drawdown at Lake Roosevelt at the request of the Colville Tribe.
From an angler’s standpoint, the management plan should keep at least four boat launches usable as the reservoir remains low in preparation for spring runoff.
Curtailing the deeper drawdown also should reduce the number of trout and kokanee being flushed out of the reservoir over Grand Coulee Dam.
The elevation of Lake Roosevelt was 1,232.5 feet above sea level on Friday when the announcement was made, just shy of the level that would have forced shutting down the Gifford-Inchelium Ferry.
Road washouts in the region have made transportation difficult. Keeping the ferry operation offers more travel options to northeastern Washington residents.
The Colville Tribe requested the halt of the drawdown to allow for better access for health and human safety. The Gifford-Inchelium Ferry will be able to continue operating.
“The Corps of Engineers made the official decision at the request of the Colville Tribe to limit the draft for Flood Risk Management to 1,232 feet,” the Bureau of Reclamation news release said. “The level of the lake will remain in the 1,232-1,235 range until the lake begins to refill.
The Lake will not be drawn down below 1,232 until further notice, officials said.
The lake level is at the maximum level to accommodate the spring runoff still yet to come from Canadian mountains, officials said.
For Lake Roosevelt water level forecasts, call (800) 824-4916.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.