Lake drawdown to start Sept. 19

By Reader Staff

Lake Pend Oreille will begin dropping to its winter operating level starting Sunday, Sept. 19, marking the start of a long drawdown period culminating in mid-November, when the lake will sit 11 feet lower than it does during the summer months.

The Lakes Commission shared the news in a public announcement Sept. 3, noting that under current agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages operations at Albeni Falls Dam, the lake “will begin its winter drawdown the third Sunday in September or Sept. 18, whichever is later.”

Albeni Falls Dam located downriver from Lake Pend Oreille. Photo courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers.

“That means this year Lake Pend Oreille will begin its winter drawdown on Sept. 19,” Lakes Commission officials stated.

Elevation targets are to remain at summer pool — between 2,062 and 2,062.5 feet — through the drawdown date, then above 2,061 through Sunday, Sept. 26. The Corps will have Lake Pend Oreille down to between 2,060-2,061 feet by Thursday, Sept. 30, then in the weeks leading up to Monday, Nov. 15, the lake will be lowered to its minimum winter level: 2,051 feet, or about 11 feet below where it sits now.

Those with questions about these operations can contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at [email protected] 

Representatives from the Corps will also give a presentation on dam operations and the lake level as part of the virtual Lakes Commission meeting on Monday, Sept. 13. To access the Zoom link and participate in the meeting, contact Lakes Commission Executive Director Molly McCahon at [email protected]

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