Reclamation begins Lowering Banks Lake

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Jonathon Brooks, (509) 754-0208

For Release: August 09, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation began drawing down Banks Lake, an equalizing reservoir for the Columbia Basin Project, on August 1, 2011, to complete maintenance projects at Dry Falls Dam and North Dam. Banks Lake is a 27-mile-long reservoir located between Electric City and Coulee City, Wash.

"Reclamation wants to remind people mooring boats on the reservoir to take steps now to remove them since it will be increasingly difficult to do so as the reservoir is lowered for maintenance," said Stephanie Utter, Ephrata Field Office Manager. "People recreating on Banks Lake should use caution as lower water levels are likely to expose hazards."

Approximate water level reductions: " 13 feet at the end of August " 26 feet by the end of September " 30 feet by the end of October

Reclamation and its managing partners have several projects planned during the drawdown. These projects include boat launch repairs and improvements, extending docks, shoreline stabilization, marina improvements at Coulee City, clean up of the shoreline and swimming areas. Reclamation will also be working with adjacent landowners to address unauthorized use of Federal land. Barker Canyon will also remain closed to motor vehicles from August 17, 2011 through March 1, 2012. During this closure Reclamation will be performing maintenance activities which include the repair and replacement of boat launch areas. The area remains open to foot traffic along Barker Canyon Road.

Reclamation expects to refill the reservoir in early 2012.

Any questions or concerns may be directed to Mr. Jonathon Brooks, Activity Coordinator. He can be reached at 509-754-0208 or by email at

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.