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River Level Fluctuations 4/14/2014

Work at Rock Island Dam will mean River Level Fluctuations This Week


Adult Chinook salmon migration is expected to begin in the next few days at Rock Island Dam. In an effort to ensure safe passage of the returning salmon and steelhead  this season, Chelan County PUD has decided to add temporary extensions to the fish ladders to help fish with their upstream migration. Sections of 30-foot long denil fishways – that is, a ladder that has baffles which aid the fish through the fishway – will be installed at three of the seven fish ladder entrances. This modification was chosen because of its flexibility to accommodate a wide range of water level conditions. (Please see diagram and picture)

The ongoing work will mean that the Rock Island reservoir will continue to fluctuate to accommodate installation of the ladders. The majority of the work will be completed by the end of the wqeek and then river levels are expected to stabilize on the upstream side of the dam.


Chelan PUD wants to remind irrigators, boaters and other river users to be sure and check the Chelan County PUD website at “Wanapum Response” to determine the Rock Island reservoir levels. This is particularly important for boaters using the only public boat ramp that remains open on the Rock Island reservoir – Wenatchee Confluence State Park – to make sure the river level will allow the boat ramp to be used.


Irrigators also should monitor their equipment as river levels can change quickly. Any irrigators with questions can contact Marcie Steinmetz at (509) 661-4186 or


Check under “Wanapum Drawdown Response” on the home page for updates on Chelan PUD’s response to the drawdown of the reservoir behind Grant PUD’s Wanapum Dam. Find us on and follow us on Twitter @ChelanPUD.