High water conditions require open spill gates at Post Falls Dam
Avista is advising Spokane River users that boating and swimming remain prohibited in the area between the Spokane Street Bridge and the Post Falls Dam through the holiday weekend. Last week’s heavy rainfall in North Idaho has resulted in higher than normal flows in the Spokane River and Avista must spill the extra water. Because of the open spill gates, it is not safe to be in the water above the dam and a Post Falls city ordinance prevents river use in that area.
Once the spill gates can be closed the Q’emiln Park boat launch will be opened and river recreation can resume. Typically this occurs sometime between Memorial Day and the July 4 holiday. In recent years the median date for closing the gates has been June 18, however the date has occurred as late as July 8 in 2008 and as early as May 22 in 2005.
Avista expects to begin summer operation at the dam as soon as weather conditions allow.
The river above the Spokane Street Bridge and Coeur d’Alene Lake are accessible with several relatively close public boat launches open. They include the launch at Blackwell Island, Third Street Launch, Higgins Point, Boothe’s Landing and Mica Bay.
For current information on Spokane River flows and Coeur d'Alene Lake elevation (includes anticipated changes in flow and elevation for the coming week) call 208-769-1357. For information on Spokane River flows and Lake Spokane elevation (includes anticipated changes in flow and elevation for the coming week) call 509-495-8043.
River users are cautioned that weather conditions can cause rapid changes in water levels. Please exercise caution when using the waterways.