Elevated lake levels around Sakakawea
By Kate Johnson
Lake Sakakawea is reported to be higher than its previous year.
However, the levels are not outside the norm of what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers like to keep those reservoir levels at. Operations Project Manager Todd Lindquist explained that typically they draw the lake levels down to 1837.5 feet by the first of March.
Following that, they have their annual flood control and multi-use zone, which is where the level will increase from that 1837.5 to 1850 feet.
This 12 feet is used to capture the runoff that is coming from the snow packed mountains and rain runoff from the fall.
The runoff filters into the lake from Montana and Wyoming. Lake Sakakawea’s drainage primarily comes from Yellowstone area. Because these areas saw greater amounts of rain and snow packing, this is what contributed to the lake elevations increasing – compared to last year’s drought conditions causing the lake to considerably lower last year than this year.