Lake Pend Oreille

Lake Pend Oreille

The Lake Pend Oreille, Pend Oreille River, Priest Lake and Priest River Commission, also known as the “Lakes Commission,” is based in Sandpoint, Idaho. To learn more about the make up and/or mission of the Commission, please visit the “About” page.  

Lake Pend Oreille will begin it’s rise to the summer elevation at the start of April.  At the latest, the summer pool should be reached by the start of July.  

This past fall the lake was drawn down a full two feet by September 30 at the request of the Bonneville Power Administration(BPA).  The Lakes Commission does not support the practice of drawing the lake down two feet by Sept. 30 each winter.  Currently BPA is requesting that this be standard practice for years that the lake is to be drawn down to 2051′.  The Lakes Commission holds that this practice limits fall recreation on the lake and has historically not been needed to bring the water down to 2051′ by the start of shoreline kokanee spawning.  The Lakes Commission will submit a request each summer that the lake level only be drawn down one foot by September 30 to support fall recreation on the water.

Clark Fork Delta from Scotchman's Peak

Army Corps is currently modeling drafting water from Lake Pend Oreille in the late summer in attempt to cool downstream water temperatures to benefit bull trout.

Erosion and other impacts from the Flexible Winter Power Operations are not fully understood even though the operation is standard on full drawdown years.  Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game recently announced that they can not prove that kokanee benefit from the higher winter pool. Without the benefit of 2055′ to kokanee the lake will be drawn down to 2051′ every winter which means that the fluctuating can occur yearly.  If a different lake level is desired a Systems Operating Request would need to be submitted to ACOE.  This request would need substantial rational to be considered.

Priest Lake

Priest Lake

3 Responses to Home

  1. Carolyn Whalen, Steve Smith says:

    Hi Erin,

    Tom spoke with me this morning about our upcoming field trip to the Waterlife Center. We would like to reserve whatever date you have available. I also want to clarify that our students have been studying Science all year. We have woven lessons about life cycles, forests, and water quality into each one of our ELA units. These students will be well-prepared and well-behaved. See you in May!

    Carolyn Whalen, Steve Smith
    Northside First and Second Grades

    • Good Morning,

      I booked your classes for the 1st. I am working on getting volunteers lined up. I will let you know when it’s complete. It would be much easier to communicate if I had an e-mail contact for either of you. We are doing a training for volunteers next Tuesday and I am feeling pretty short this year, so if you all know of anyone that might be interested in helping out I would love it if you sent them my e-mail or phone number. Thanks.

      Erin Mader
      (208) 263-5310 X107

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