The spring runoff has begun 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 1,235 feet above sea level, 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 to keep the water level above 1,232 which is the lowest operational level for the Gifford Ferry near Inchelium.
Although many boat launches on Lake Roosevelt are inoperable due to the low water levels, they are still open at Spring Canyon, Keller Ferry, Seven Bays, Hunters Camp, and Kettle Falls. As the water rises, by the end of May, Crescent Bay, Hansen Harbor, Lincoln Mill, Fort Spokane, Porcupine Bay, Gifford, Daisy, Bradbury Beach, and more boat launches should all be operational.
More information on current lake levels, and the minimum operable lake levels for many boat launches can be found at http://www.gcdvisitor.com/boat-launch-accessibility-on-lake-roosevelt/