COUGAR, Wash. — The Swift Reservoir elevation has dropped below the level that allows safe motorized boat launch at PacifiCorp’s Swift Forest Camp ramp. Swift Forest Camp will remain open for use by hunters or anglers through Nov. 30, 2020.
The water level has dropped due to the need to release water to the lower Lewis River and the fact that rain has been below normal this fall. Lewis River reservoir levels during the fall months are subject to available inflows, downstream flow requirements, flood storage and power demand.
Under the PacifiCorp’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license, the company is required to continuously release certain amounts of river flow at Merwin Dam for downstream aquatic resources. Starting on Nov. 1, minimum flows increased from 2,500 cubic feet per second to 4,200 cubic feet per second, which is well in excess of the natural inflows we have been averaging into the project.
In addition, FERC requires that PacifiCorp manage the reservoirs to provide storage space for flood control. These requirements and climatic conditions have resulted in the current elevation of Swift Reservoir.
Operations are in place to store water in the reservoirs in a way that meets flood control storage, flow requirements at Merwin dam and the near-term flow forecast. As a reminder, reservoir levels are always subject to fluctuation depending on the water management and generational needs of the hydroelectric projects and PacifiCorp cannot guarantee what daily water levels may be in the reservoirs.
If you have any questions, please call our recreation line at 503-813-6666.