Winter 2013-2014 precipitation and snowpack have kept everyone guessing about what kind of water year it will be. Runoff projections for the Lake Chelan Basin started dropping in November 2013 and reached a low of 54 percent of average in late January. A series of weather fronts have improved the outlook for this year, however, the forecast is that we will have a drier-than-average-water year. You can read about the results of our early February snow report here:
Information about lake levels is available in real time on this page. For those on the go, posters at boat launches and marinas and rack cards distributed throughout the Chelan-Manson-Chelan Falls community display a QR (Quick Response) code that offers a direct link to current lake level readings by using their smart phones and tablets.
Lake Chelan is the reservoir for the Lake Chelan Hydro Project. Managing the level of popular Lake Chelan requires balancing seven objectives in the operating license that together provide recreation, protect fish, reduce erosion and restore year-round flows to the Chelan River.
Managing the level of the lake is not an exact science. It involves a series of forecasts and calculations, with the added uncertainty of weather. However, updated tools and additional data will help us provide information that is more useful for residents and visitors.
Plans are to continue to monitor the low snowpack in the Lake Chelan Basin and slowly lower the lake as snowpack accumulates.
Targeting a Range
Chelan PUD estimates that Lake Chelan can be operated more consistently within the expected range shown on the accompanying Dry/Average Water Years graph 90 percent of the time and meet the District’s seven license operating objectives in most years. Learn more.
We are committed to letting you know about any changes in expected lake levels as soon as we can so residents and visitors know what to expect. We welcome your comments or questions about Lake Chelan levels.
The District expects to maintain a range of 1,085 to 1,100 feet above sea level during dry or average water years. In wet water years lake level could fall to 1,083 feet or lower (the license minimum is 1,079 feet) as more room is needed for increased runoff. Factors that can affect lake level management include:
We are sensitive to the needs of the many users of Lake Chelan. Below are the elevations at the bottom of each concrete boat ramp. As lake levels fluctuate, boaters are asked to take these elevations into consideration before launching a boat.
|Elevation at |
End of Boat Ramp
|Chelan Riverwalk Park||Chelan PUD||Chelan||2 concrete ramps||1080.5 feet|
|Lake Chelan State Park||WA State Parks||Chelan||1 concrete ramp||1090.0 feet|
|City of Chelan||Chelan||2 concrete ramps||1090.0 feet|
|Manson Bay Park||Manson Parks||Manson||1 concrete ramp||1077.9 feet|
|Old Mill Park||Manson Parks||Manson||4 concrete ramps||1082.9 feet|
|25-Mile Creek State Park||WA State Parks||Chelan||2 concrete ramps||1093.0 feet|