Seattle District Header Image
Home > Missions > Civil Works > Locks and Dams > Albeni Falls Dam


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Albeni Falls Dam
2376 E. Highway 2
Oldtown, ID 83822


Like us!



Albeni Falls Dam

Albeni Falls DamAlbeni Falls Dam was authorized for construction under the Flood Control Act of 1950. This Act was signed by the United States Congress in response to a great flood that swept over the river valleys of the Columbia basin in 1948. Albeni Falls Dam was built from January 1951 to December of 1955 at a total cost of $34 million.

The dam is made up of two different parts: the powerhouse and the spillway. The powerhouse contains powerful turbines and generators that convert gravity-driven river water into hydroelectricity. The spillway can either store water for downstream power production and irrigation at other dams along the Pend Oreille and Columbia Rivers, or release water for upstream flood control. There is 136,000 cubic yards (61 million pounds) of concrete in the structure.

Today, it produces over 200 million kilowatt hours of electrical energy each year. When running at top capacity, the three Kaplan generators can generate 42.6 megawatts. That's enough power to supply about 15,000 homes. Bonneville Power Administration markets this electricity to customers primarily in the Pacific Northwest. This power production saves the United States from buying about 4.9 million barrels f imported oil each year.

Lake Pend Oreille (Ponderay)

Lake Pend Oreille is one of the largest and deepest natural lakes in North America. Spanning near 150 square miles, it extends through a glacially carved, U-shaped valley that separates three lofty mountain ranges-the Cabinets, Selkirks and Coeur d’ Alenes. Rimmed by these mountains that rise over 6,500 feet, the lake’s average depth is 545 feet, but in some areas plunges to a depth of 1,237 feet.

The shoreline of the combined Lake Pend Oreille and the Pend Oreille River is 226 miles. It’s length 68 miles, with a maximum width of 6 ½ miles.

The name “Pend Oreille” derives from the French name for a local tribe of Indians that wore pendant ornaments in their earlobes.


Officials seek public comments on Albeni Falls Fish Passage project - Thursday, December 07, 2017

SEATTLE - Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are seeking public comments on the draft integrated Post-Authorization Decision Document and Environmental Assessment for the Albeni Falls Dam Fish Passage project.  The 30-day public comment period is from Nov. 28 to Dec. 28, 2017. This document is available for viewing online at and a paper copy will be available at the East Bonner County Library at 1407 Cedar Street, Sandpoint, Idaho.

The proposed permanent upstream fish passage facility includes an entrance, ladder, holding and sorting area, fish lift, and truck loading area at Albeni Falls Dam and is subject to approval and appropriations.  Operation of the passageway would be year-round excluding the warmest month of August when temperatures exceed lethal thresholds for bull trout and during winter periods of river or facility ice-over.

A public meeting to provide project updates and information about the draft integrated Post-Authorization Decision Document and Environmental Assessment is scheduled for Dec. 13:

Public Meeting
5-6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017

The Sandpoint Center (Columbia Bank Center)
414 Church St.
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864

Comments on the draft integrated Post-Authorization Decision Document and Environmental Assessment may be submitted by email, or mailed to the addresses below.

For more information or to submit comments:

Mail: District Engineer
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 3755
Seattle, WA, 98124-3755

Phone: (206) 764-3646



Comments must be postmarked by Dec. 28, 2017.


Flow Update

Dec. 5, 2017 

Lake Pend Oreille elevation at Hope: 2,051.3 feet
Albeni Falls Dam outflow: ~ 20,000 cubic feet per second 

Outflow from Albeni Falls Dam will increase from 20,000 to 24,000 cfs at 10 a.m. PST today.  Current operations intend to hold the pool between 2,051 and 2,051.5 feet to support kokanee spawning.

After Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game has determined that kokanee have ceased spawning, there will be no limitations this winter for Flexible Winter Power Operations (FWPO).  People living or recreating around the Lake may see Lake Pend Oreille fluctuate between elevations 2,051 to 2,056 feet at the request of BPA.  FWPO operations can start once the kokanee are done spawning through March 31.

Short term modeling forecasts are provided by the Northwest River Forecast Center.  Their projections for Albeni Falls Dam inflow, outflow and the Lake Pend Oreille at the Hope gage can be found here:

Projections for future operations at Albeni Falls Dam can be found here:

Around the Project