Lake Chelan Lake Levels

Lake Chelan annual operating range and lake level history

Lake Chelan draws thousands of visitors and residents to its shores each year. Whether the purpose is to fish, swim, boat or simply meander along its shores, the lake is a popular gathering place. It’s also a vital part of the Chelan County PUD network of hydroelectric resources. Click here for the Northwest River Forecast Center water supply forecast for Lake Chelan.

Read our blog post: Lake Chelan lake levels: Each year is unique

Download the Chelan County PUD Current app for Columbia River and Lake Chelan conditions

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Graph lines can be turned "on" and "off" by clicking on the legend names above.

Zoom function is enabled by clicking and dragging the mouse pointer over a section of the graph.

Lake levels are expected to be within the forecasted operating range most of the time.

Actual lake levels may be higher or lower than the forecasted operating range.

Click here for lake levels over the last 10 days

Lake Chelan Lake Level (Past 10 Days)

Lake Chelan Lake Level (Past 10 Days)
Date & Time of Measurement Elevation
*Most recent date and elevation are at the top of the table

Future Operation (July 16, 2024)

The “Oct. 1 Forecasted Operating Range” in the graph above represents the annual forecasted Operating Range for the water year (Oct. 1, 2023 – Sept. 30, 2024). The “Current Forecasted Operating Range” in the graph above represents the most recent forecasted operating range between now and the end of the water year (July 16, 2024 – Sept. 30, 2024).      

Generation and spill are planned to manage lake levels per the operating objectives to meet recreation, fish, flood control, erosion control, and tributary obstruction removal objectives. Chelan PUD’s April 1 water supply forecast for the Lake Chelan Basin was 60% of average from April 1 – July 31. Lake Chelan has refilled (1098.0 feet). Chelan County PUD does not control inflows into the lake but does plan for and react to a likely range of inflows, which are dependent on precipitation and temperatures (snow melt). The Lake Chelan Hydro Project boundary includes the Chelan River area, from the dam to the confluence with the Columbia River, including the gorge. With the exception of the Reach 1 trail and public fishing area, these areas are off-limits to the public as spill into the Chelan River can occur at any time. Lake Chelan elevations are based on the Datum of 1914. This web page is updated regularly to reflect the latest conditions.

For Those on the Go

Download our Current app for our section of the Columbia River and Lake Chelan to get current lake level readings on your smart phones at

Lake Level Management

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.

Targeting a Range

Chelan PUD estimates that Lake Chelan can be operated within the above Current Operating Range most of the time, and meet the District’s seven license operating objectives and target elevations in most years.

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 the lake level within a range of 1,084 to 1,100 feet above sea level during most years. In extremely wet years, the lake level could be lowered to 1,083 feet above sea level, or lower (the license minimum is 1,079 feet above sea level), as more room is needed to capture increased runoff. Factors that can affect lake level management include:

  • High runoff due to a wet water year
  • Early or late snow melt
  • Project operation and/or maintenance needs
  • Energy market conditions

Public Boat Ramps at Lake Chelan

We are sensitive to the needs of the many users of Lake Chelan. Below is a link to our webpage showing elevations at the bottom of each concrete boat ramp – on both Lake Chelan and our Columbia River ramps. As lake levels fluctuate, boaters are asked to take these elevations into consideration before launching a boat.

Fishing and Boating Ramp Information