14-065 Irrigation water releases lower Lucky Peak Lake; watersport enthusiasts advised to be aware of changing water elevations

Published Aug. 28, 2014
BOISE – Water levels at Lucky Peak Dam and Lake are dropping as water operations managers for the Boise River reservoir system release water to meet irrigation commitments.

Lucky Peak Lake elevation was about 3,046 feet on Aug. 28. Lake elevation will likely fall to about 3,042 feet by Labor Day, affecting some boat launching facilities on the lake, according to Corps officials.

Normal lake elevation is 3,055 feet. The first ramp affected by low water levels was Robie Creek boat ramp, which is no longer useful for launching vessels. 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.

Lucky Peak staff noted that Barclay Bay’s two boat ramps have different lake-access elevations and one side was closed earlier in the week. “As water levels lower to a point where a boat ramp can't be safely used, we will close it.” said Keith Hyde, acting operations project manager at Lucky Peak. “As more ramps are closed, those ramps remaining open are likely to become more congested than usual.”

Boaters should use caution when mooring vessels along the shoreline, 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.

As always, safety is the Corps’ greatest concern – safety is everyone’s responsibility! Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind while having fun at Lucky Peak:

• Changing weather conditions can create unsafe situations on open water. Know the weather and have a float plan.
• Keep life jackets on children while on or around the water, and don’t let small children out of your sight.
• Fire danger is present, so be careful with your campfire, and extinguish smoking materials.
• Check the serviceability of your boat, and avoid drinking alcohol while boating.
• Ensure proper fitting, accessible, and serviceable life vests are available for each occupant on your boat. Better yet, wear them!
• Familiarize yourself with the area in which you will be boating before traveling at high speeds. There may be rocks, stumps, or shallow areas not visible from the surface.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation cooperatively operate three dams on the Boise River as a system -- 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.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 14-065