BOISE – Water levels at Lucky Peak Dam and Lake will begin to drop about a month earlier than usual as water operations managers for the Boise River reservoir system begin releasing water from the lake on Monday, July 22, to meet irrigation commitments.
Lake elevation will drop about 1 to 2 feet each day once releases begin. The early need for irrigation water is a result of drought conditions throughout the Boise River watershed, which received only about 50-55 percent of its normal water supply, according to water managers.
“While the drop in elevation will start slowly for a few days, it will soon lower the lake elevation to a level where boat ramps will be affected,” said Keith Hyde, park manager at Lucky Peak. “As water levels lower to a point where a boat ramp can't be safely used, we will close it.”
Normal lake elevation is 3,055 feet. The first boat ramp to be affected will be Robie Creek when lake levels fall below 3,046 feet. Turner Gulch’s ramp, at 2,905 feet, will be the last to close, if at all, depending upon irrigation needs and future inflows.
Visitors can check the Bureau of Reclamation’s Hydromet website for current lake elevation and boat ramp status www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/ramps/lucky/lucky.html. Boat launch information for Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch dams is also online at www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/ramps/boiramps.html.
“Unfortunately, our normal drawdown is beginning about a month earlier this year, so it would be best for folks to get their boating kicks in soon before the boat-in sites become inaccessible,” said Hyde. “As ramps are closed, those ramps remaining open are likely to become more congested than usual.”
Boaters should use caution when mooring vessels, because they may become stranded as water levels recede if anchored on or too close to the shore. Corps rangers advise lake users to be on the lookout for underwater hazards that become closer to the surface as the lake lowers, particularly in the Mores Creek area and near shorelines.
For more information about Lucky Peak Dam and Lake, call 208-343-0671 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LuckyPeakLake.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation operate three dams on the Boise River -- Lucky Peak Dam and Lake (Corps), Arrowrock Dam (Reclamation) and Anderson Ranch Dam (Reclamation). Storage capacity provided by this system of dams, combined with well-planned water releases, helps manage flood flows, produces hydro-electric power and provides irrigation water throughout the Treasure Valley.
Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.
The Corps’ Walla Walla District, is a full-service, civil works organization. Included in the Walla Walla District mission are the functions of planning, engineering, and constructing water resources projects, real estate, regulatory functions, operation and maintenance of projects for navigation, flood control, hydroelectric power generation, recreation and natural resources management, environmental statutes, and vital administrative activities. Visit our website at www.nww.usace.army.mil.