Lake Levels

Current Reservoir Levels

Lake Tapps Reservoir Fall Drawdown Update 9/20/22: 

You may have noticed the lake level going down. Due to lack of precipitation and low snow-melt, no water is currently being added to the reservoir.  Without precipitation, the water may continue to slowly lower, so please keep an eye on your area for the best time to remove your boat.

Lake Tapps Reservoir Fall Drawdown Plan

Cascade will begin the fall drawdown on November 1 and will bring the reservoir level down from its current approximately 542.5 feet elevation to approximately 538-539 feet elevation for the fall and winter. This drawdown is necessary for the integrity and maintenance of the dikes and to ensure safety from wind, storm, and wave action during the winter months.

Residents should watch levels and make appropriate decisions regarding watercraft and other property. Cascade recommends that residents remove their boats from the water at the latest by mid-October.

Cascade maintains seasonal recreational water levels between elevation 541.5 feet and 543 feet from April 15 to September 30.  The 2023 spring refill is anticipated to begin in mid-February.

As a reminder, residents who wish to do any work on their property, such as bulkheads, docks, boatlifts, etc., must obtain all the appropriate, required permits and a Cascade license prior to beginning any work.  Further, residents should keep in mind as they do work on their property, especially bulkheads, that Cascade has the authority to raise reservoir levels to elevation 543′ under current water rights, so any new or modified bulkheads should be built to at least elevation 544′. Cascade raises the reservoir to 543′ once a year for a day or so as a reminder.

For information regarding licenses for project work click here.

USGS Links:

Lake Tapps Level Gage 

White River Gage

General Reservoir Level Management

Cascade has owned and operated the Lake Tapps Reservoir since 2009. During that time, Cascade has managed lake levels in accordance with the provisions of the Lake Tapps Reservoir Water Rights, which incorporate relevant provisions from the 2009 Agreement regarding Lake Tapps between Cascade Water Alliance and the Lake Tapps Community and the 2008 White River Management Agreement between the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Cascade Water Alliance.

The Water Rights and the agreements provide for Cascade to maintain recreational reservoir levels or normal full pool, between elevation 541.5′ and 543.0′ (gage height) from April 15 through Sept. 30.

Typical fall drawdown to a lake level of approximately elevation 538′ – 539′ is sufficient to protect the integrity of the Lake Tapps dikes and for any routine inspections. This minimizes the wear on the valves in the power house during fall drawdown and the risk of problems refilling the Lake Tapps Reservoir during periods of water shortage.

Specific dike or other maintenance projects will require Cascade to reduce the lake level in the fall and winter to approximately elevation 533′ to 535′ (some projects may require the level to be lower).