Spring refill of lake is underway

| April 10, 2020 1:00 AM

SANDPOINT — The spring refill of Lake Pend Oreille is underway, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The corps began refilling the lake at the start of April and is targeting a lake elevation of approximately 2,055 feet by the end of the month.

“The day-to-day rate of refill will vary based on changing inflows to Lake Pend Oreille,” Jon Moen, a senior water manager for the Upper Columbia basin in Seattle, said in an Albeni Falls Dam operations update.

This week, the lake’s elevation is expected to gradually rise to the 2,052- to 2,053-foot-range. Outflows at the Pend Oreille River dam are planned to remain at 10,000 cubic feet per second this week.

Dam operations during May and June will be set according to observed and forecast conditions in order to manage flood risk, the corps said. The agency monitors snowpack and weather forecasts to determine timing to reach the summer operating range of 2,062 to 2,062.5 feet.

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 percent of average, the corps said.

Projections for future operations at Albeni Falls Dam can be viewed online (nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nws/hh/www/pend_esp.html).