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Lk. Roosevelt level rising with runoff

 

A boater prepares to pull out of the lake at Spring Canyon's boat launch Tuesday, where the National Park Service operates the deepest launch on Lake Roosevelt. - Jacob Wagner photo

The spring runoff from melting snow in Canada is now coming down the Columbia River, and Lake Roosevelt is beginning to refill.

Following the long 2016-17 winter, Lake Roosevelt has been kept at a low water level in anticipation of the large mountain runoff to come.

Currently, with the water level at an elevation of about 1,256 feet above sea level on Tuesday, the target for May 31 is for the lake to be no higher than 1,262, according to the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. The lake is completely full at 1,290 feet.

Flood control levels are determined by the Corps of Engineers, and are the major factor in water levels this time of year while the lake is operated as a large catch-basin to hold back snowmelt water that could otherwise cause flooding downstream.

The Colville Tribes had asked the Corps of Engineers to keep the water level above 1,232, the lowest operational level for the Gifford-Inchelium Ferry.

Although many boat launches on Lake Roosevelt are inoperable due to the low water levels, they are open at Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Seven Bays, Hunters Camp, Hansen Harbor, Kettle Falls, and Gifford. As the water rises, by the end of May, Crescent Bay, Lincoln Mill, Fort Spokane, Daisy, Bradbury Beach, and more boat launches should all be operational.

The launch at Porcupine Bay is currently inaccessible due to a landslide this spring that took out the road leading to it.

More information on current lake levels, and the minimum operable lake levels for many boat launches, can be found at http://www.gcdvisitor.com.

Lake Levels

Crescent Bay 1265 feet

Spring Canyon 1222 feet

Keller Ferry 1229 feet

Hansen Harbor 1253 feet

Jones Bay 1266 feet

Lincoln Mill 1245 feet

Hawk Creek 1281 feet

Seven Bays 1227 feet

Fort Spokane 1247 feet

Porcupine Bay 1243 feet

Hunters Camp 1230 feet

Gifford 1249 feet

Daisy 1265 feet

Bradbury Beach 1251 feet

Kettle Falls 1234 feet

Marcus Island 1281 feet

Evans 1280 feet

North Gorge 1280 feet

Snag Cove 1277 feet

French Rocks 1265 feet

Napoleon Bridge 1280 feet

China Bend 1277 feet

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