Our Northwest

Lake Washington dips to near-record low

Friday, September 11, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

Not only are mountain reservoirs parched during the current drought, even Lake Washington has dropped to its lowest level since 1987.
     Seattle’s backyard pond typically drops to 20 feet above sea level each December, but the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officially measured it at less than 20 feet on Aug. 25.
     We noticed the lake was low while attending the Seafair hydro races Aug. 2. We watched from a traditional spot on the shoreline, and this year the beach extended farther out than usual. As a side note, I also noticed how clear the water has become since its murky days in the 1960s.
     The last time Lake Washington dipped below 20 feet was late October 1987, when it measured 19.44 feet. The Corps expects it to drop another foot before the end of the year.
     The record low for Lake Washington is 18.35 feet, set in 1958. Low lake levels can be a concern when they hinder fish passage and salinity control. Read the Bellevue Reporter article.

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