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Posted 2/18/2016

Release no. 16-005

Bill Dowell

Water managers are targeting a typical annual refill of the lake to elevation 22 feet with an interim target of 21.85 feet by May 1. Fill rates and target elevations vary through May based on conditions. Refilling the lake to 22 feet will 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 22-foot target refill elevation 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 the maximum target elevation through June and July. 

More information on Lake Washington’s status is available on the Corps’ Seattle District Reservoir Control Center website at

Ballard Locks Chittenden Locks Lake Washington Seattle Seattle Distinct U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE