Corps of Engineers begins Lake Washington annual summer refill

Published Feb. 11, 2013

SEATTLE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials will begin Lake Washington annual summer refill operations Feb. 15.

Water managers are targeting a typical annual 21.95-foot mid-May pool. Fill rates and target elevations vary through May based on conditions. The higher levels help meet increased summer water use, providing water necessary for fish passage, navigation and salinity control.

Private and commercial maritime interests along Lake Washington Ship Canal and in Lakes Washington and Union should expect a gradual rise from the winter level of 20 feet until the final 22-foot target refill height is reached around June 1. Vessel owners should closely monitor lake elevations and adjust mooring lines as necessary.

The official lake level is measured at the Locks. Lake Washington levels may vary due to the natural gradient between the lake and the locks or wind that can push the lake levels up for short durations. Depending on conditions, the lake may remain at full pool through June and July.

More information on Lake Washington’s status is available on the Corps’ Seattle District river basin Web site at

Bill Dowell

Release no. 13-009