USACE sets timeline for Lucky Peak Lake drawdown

Published July 10, 2024

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District will begin drawing down the water levels of Lucky Peak Lake during the fourth week of July in preparation of the Turner Gulch boat ramp rehabilitation project.

The drawdown will lower the lake 125 feet to allow construction crews to access damaged portions of the nearly 1,000-foot-long Turner Gulch ramp by Sept. 1. The drawdown will be managed in close coordination with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and will be dictated by real-time irrigation demand in standing with the Lucky Peak project’s water management mission. Key dates for the drawdown include:

  • Fourth week of July: Reservoir drawdown begins, with water levels dropping at a rate of 1.25 to 1.75 feet per day.
  • First week of August: The reservoir will drop below 3,035 feet mean sea level within this timeframe with a drawdown rate no greater than 2.5 feet per day. Most boat ramps will be inaccessible at this point.
  • Second week of August: The reservoir will pass below 3,029 feet mean sea level with a drawdown rate of over 3 feet per day.
  • September 1: Beginning of Turner Gulch boat ramp rehabilitation project. The reservoir will hold at 2,930 mean sea level throughout the construction window for the project.
  • November 1: Completion of the Turner Gulch boat ramp rehabilitation project. The reservoir will begin to refill resuming normal winter operations.

Falling lake elevations may present obstacles and unexpected stranding hazards for lake users and caution is advised.

The Turner Gulch boat ramp rehabilitation project is funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. It will rehabilitate damaged and unsafe portions of the 70-year-old concrete ramp, implement measures to reduce erosion and siltation of the ramp edge, and ensure the continued availability of the ramp for critical operations and maintenance activities at Lucky Peak Dam. The work will provide both boaters with a safer ramp to use for low-water, off-season activities.

The drawdown will shorten the 2024 boating season by several weeks. The construction window was identified as having the least impacts to the Lucky Peak project’s authorized purposes while keeping construction feasible and affordable. Spring and winter construction windows would require costly safeguards for the new concrete and could be subject to weather delays, or postponement due to flood risk management operations creating significant impacts to 2025 irrigation supply and recreation seasons.

Lucky Peak Dam and Lake is a congressional-authorized project in Boise, Idaho providing flood risk management, water supply, and recreation to the Treasure Valley. It is part of a three-dam system with the USBR-managed Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams.

For more information on Lucky Peak Dam and Lake, along with real-time updates on drawdown conditions visit Lucky Peak on Facebook at:

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 24-040