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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
Annette Ross
(208) 378-5322
Lynne Brougher
(509) 633-9503

Released On: June 27, 2014

Visitors to Lake Roosevelt Cautioned About Rising Lake Levels
GRAND COULEE, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation is advising people camping along the Lake Roosevelt shoreline over the July 4 weekend to be aware of potential dangers that could exist due to rapidly rising lake levels. The lake is impounded by Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River about 90 miles west of Spokane.

"When camping along the shoreline, it is recommended that tents and other belongings be kept well away from the water's edge," said Public Affairs Officer Lynne Brougher. "Although the lake is a popular vacation spot, it is also a working reservoir that supplies water for hydroelectric facilities at Grand Coulee Dam which can result in rapid fluctuations."

Brougher says campsites that are too close to the water's edge could potentially become flooded and boats that are not properly anchored or secured could drift out into the lake and become a safety hazard.

The lake is expected to be at an elevation of 1,286 feet July 3. Lake levels are expected to rise up to one-half foot each day over the holiday weekend.

Lake Operational Information

  • Reclamation must adhere to the court ordered 2008/2010 FCRPS Biological Opinion requiring the lake to be at the full pool elevation of 1,290 feet above sea level between late June and early July.
  • Water is stored for later use in July and August to increase flows for migrating endangered species in the lower Columbia River.
  • Water managers must also prepare for unexpected weather changes that could alter lake levels more rapidly than anticipated.

For more information concerning lake levels, contact Lynne Brougher at (509) 633-9503 or email lbrougher@usbr.gov.

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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 www.usbr.gov.