June 18, 2015
Cascade Water Alliance announced the Lake Tapps Reservoir will officially be open for passive recreation beginning Saturday, June 20, at 8 a.m. The reservoir will remain closed to motorized craft due to the water levels not yet at full recreational level. The bottom of the reservoir not covered by water (the lake bed) remains permanently closed to motorized vehicles.
Water enthusiasts should check with the City of Bonney Lake, Pierce County Parks, private parks and homeowner associations about access to the lake and what activities are allowed based on water levels in each area of the reservoir. For fishing updates, contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“While the reservoir has filled considerably as a result of our joint project with the US Army Corps of Engineers, there is still more to fill,” said Chuck Clarke, Cascade CEO. “Not all areas of the lake are safe yet for motor craft or for access. Everyone is urged to use caution and good judgment when enjoying the water. Also please remember that this glacier-fed reservoir may be even colder than normal this summer.”
Cascade, which owns the lake bed and water in Lake Tapps, in March completed 16 vital infrastructure projects to the 12-mile system of flumes, pumps and valves and dikes for long term reliability and viability for the reservoir. To do this, the reservoir level was lowered. Refill began on time in mid-March, but it became a challenge when White River flows dropped to almost 50 percent below historic lows.
A current project with the Corps is allowing it to store and release water behind Mud Mountain Dam which is helping to fill the reservoir. This added seven feet of water since June 9, and the reservoir is now at elevation 537 feet, just short of recreational levels of 541.5 to 543 feet. A second phase of the Corps’ project will hold and store water behind the dam, reducing flows into the reservoir until next week to provide a safe environment for workers in the river. Once the Corps’ project is complete, the water will be released into the flume that supplies Lake Tapps. Cascade will put that water into the reservoir during the last week of June and the first week of July.
For the latest information on lake levels and activity regarding the fill visit:
Cascade Water Alliance
Bonney Lake Parks
Pierce County Parks
Washington State Fish and Wildlife