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.
The Lakes Commission will hold their next quarterly meeting on June 29, 2016.
Pend Oreille Lake Levels: Lake Pend Oreille has reached summer pool which varies between 2062′ and 2062.5′ above sea level. It should stay at this level through late September according the the recent agreement between the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of Idaho. To view the entire agreement please click here.
Short term modeling forecasts are provided by the Northwest River Forecast Center. Their projections for Albeni Falls Dam inflow, outflow and the Lake Pend Oreille at the Hope gage can be found here:
Priest Lake Levels
The lake level at Priest Lake should lower to summer pool sometime in early June depending on rainfall. Flows and the lake level remain high at this time.
The summer of 2015 brought record high heat, high evaporation, low snowpack and low rainfall. This led to difficulties in holding the lake level at full pool while allowing water to flow into the Priest River. This situation brought about a number of questions about the Priest system. The Idaho legislature designated $300,000 to study three issues on Priest including the operation and structure of Outlet Dam; the impacts of raising the lake level in preparation for drought events; and the breakwater structure at the mouth of Thorofare. To read more in depth about these studies please link to the issues page.