Saturday, April 11, 2020

Lake Pend Oreille water level

Lake Pend Oreille elevation at Hope: 2,052.21 feet
Albeni Falls Dam outflow: 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs)

Good Morning,

Current changes and highlights:
- Albeni Falls outflow is planned to remain at 10,000 cfs this week.
- Lake Pend Oreille elevation is expected to increase gradually within the 2052-2053 ft range this week.

The spring refill of Lake Pend Oreille began at the start of April. The planned operation for April is to target a lake elevation of approximately 2055 ft by the end of the month. The day-to-day rate of refill will vary based on changing inflows to Lake Pend Oreille. This week, the elevation of Lake Pend Oreille is expected to increase gradually within the 2052-2053 ft range.

Albeni Falls operations during May and June will be set according to observed and forecast conditions in order to manage flood risk. The Corps monitors snowpack and weather forecasts to determine timing to reach the summer operating range of 2062.0 to 2062.5 ft. In a typical non-flood year this summer range is reached in mid to late June. The current seasonal water supply forecast for April-July inflow volume is 96% of average.

Short term modeling forecasts are provided by the Northwest River Forecast Center.  Their projections for Albeni Falls Dam inflow, outflow, and the elevation of Lake Pend Oreille at the Hope gage can be found here:

Projections for future operations at Albeni Falls Dam can be found here:

Jon Moen
Senior Water Manager, Upper Columbia
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District


  1. "in order to manage flood risk" This statement is not true at all!! They could easily manage the flood risk and still have 6 months of full pool (or within a couple of feet), as the law required. Science and technology in the last 30 years or more have made if very easy to predict lake levels off of snow pack and rain full to prevent flooding. There are only economic reasons for not raising the water level higher and faster then what they are doing. Electricity for major population centers to name the biggest. What makes it so aggravation is they just will not tell the truth about it, and keep hiding behind flood control when they know damn good and well that is not the main reason for starving the lake of water.

  2. Also, if flood control is the reason for maintaining lower lake level then why does the ACE start letting the water out in September!! there is no significant risk of flooding in the fall! If there was you have plenty of lead time to increase the water flow out of the damns. There is no reason whatsoever, (other then economic Payoffs), to let more then a couple of feet out before November.