Read all about Colorama in our special section. You can also find one in the current issue of The Star. But here’s an important update: The carnival folks now say they will open from 11-3 on Sunday, instead of closing down Saturday night.
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/
A new 5K Colorama Color Run will be held at North Dam Park this year, adding literal “color” for Colorama to participants who want to revel in the spirit of the festival.
The run begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 13, at North Dam Park. For those who pre-register at grandcouleedam.org/colorrun or at the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, the cost is $22 and includes a T-shirt. Registration on the day of the run will cost $25, and a T-shirt is not guaranteed.
Those on the run will receive a T-shirt and can get an optional spray of color at six locations along the way.
The route will cross North Dam and wind its way along trails for the 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). The racers will not run along the highway.
The Colorama carnival will feature a Ferris wheel, among a string of other rides, according to Rainier Amusements spokesperson Traci Newton.
Newton said Monday that, in addition to the Ferris wheel, there will be rides such as the YoYo, Spider, Helicopter, Vortex and Ali Baba. This will be Rainier Amusements’ first Colorama visit.
Newton said Rainier Amusements takes pride in providing family entertainment and that rides for all ages are a feature of the firm.
The popular pre-sale for carnival tickets began this week, with a one-day ticket selling for $20. The cost of a daily ticket at the site will be $28.
Pre-event tickets are available at the chamber of commerce office, the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union, Coulee Hardware, Loepp Furniture, H&H Grocery, Trading Post near Nespelem, and The Star newspaper.
Also, Colorama button sales started last week, with buttons available at a number of local businesses. The $3 buttons are numbered for prizes in a drawing scheduled for Saturday, May 13.
Another popular feature of Colorama this year will be helicopter rides.
For the fifth year, Inland Helicopter will be on hand to take Colorama visitors on a helicopter ride over the area. Flights cost $30 per person if there are at least three people along, or $40 each if there are fewer than three.
Flights will be available from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. Flights take off from the ball field at North Dam Park.
Read more about the event at http://www.grandcouleedam.org/colorama.html
Staff from the Colville Tribal Fish Hatchery have released 50,000 triploid rainbow trout into Rufus Woods Lake between February and March, a press release from the Colville Tribes Fish & Wildlife Department stated. The fish average two pounds each, and some are fitted with tags.
Rufus Woods Lake is the length of the Columbia River from the Grand Coulee Dam to Chief Joseph Dam.
Anglers who catch the tagged fish are encouraged to contact Colville Tribal Fish & Wildlife at (509)-634-2113, to report information related to the catch to assist biologist in managing annual fish releases.
All non-tribal-members who are fishing by boat on the boundary waters of the reservation or from the shore of Rufus Woods at the Designated Fishing Area (DFA) must have either a valid Colville Indian Reservation Fishing Permit or a valid fishing license issued by the State of Washington. Non-members fishing from the reservation shoreline outside of the DFA must have a tribal permit.
At this time, there is only one DFA on Rufus Woods which is located downstream of the Pacific Aquaculture Fish Farm net pens. Colville tribal members must possess a Colville tribal identification card that serves as a permit to fish. Anglers who purchase tribal permits help support the continued success of this fishery.
Pictured below are Erica Moses, Fisheries Tech, at the Rufus Woods release, and the Rufus Woods Net Pens
An episode of the video series Nick on the Rocks, which explores the geology of Washington state, simulates what Dry Falls would have looked like when water was rushing over it during the Missoula Ice Age Floods.