THANK YOU Lakes Commission
Lakes Commission Newsletter Autumn 2023
Outlet Dam Undergoes Improvements - Priest Lake/Priest River
Outlet Dam, located at the southern end of Priest Lake, known as "the Outlet", where Priest River exits the lake, will be undergoing construction throughout the winter of 2023. This project was put on hold last year due to unexpected challanges. The overall project will add the ability to raise the lake 6 inches higher if needed in drought conditions, and will replace the "apron" on the downriver side of the dam to prevent scouring, which can destabilize the dam's foundation. This work is complex and requires fully dewatering part of the dam on the southeast side. Michelle Richman with IDWR provided us the below update in early November: November 2023 Construction Update As many of you are aware, mobilization and construction on the Priest Lake Outlet Dam resumed on October 16, 2023. Idaho Department of Water Resources is working with the construction company, Northbank Civil and Marine, to facilitate successful completion of the project. You may have recently noticed that the lake reached the .1-foot mark on November 1, 2023. For the two weeks following November 1, the Department will work with Northbank as they construct a cofferdam (the cofferdam directs 100% of the flow through a constructed flume to allow for construction of the concrete pad on the south side of the river.) The Department is, therefore, operating gates to reduce flow to about 100 cfs during the day to enable construction activities to proceed. During non-construction hours, the Department will operate gates to increase flow through the dam to 400 cfs or more. Due to the rain and day-time gate closures, the lake is rising, and it is currently at .25 feet. The purpose of this update is to provide information about these atypical operations and to inform you that these are temporary measures due to specific construction activities. The Department anticipates typical winter operations to resume by mid-November. The Department will provide periodic updates during the project.
Photo Pecky Cox / November 24
Greetings to our Priest Lake Snowmobile Community
On behalf of the Priest Lake Groomer Advisory Board, I wish to reach out to you to provide an update on our preparations for this upcoming snowmobile season here at Priest Lake.
As is customary for our Board, we have prepared our warming huts, Mollies and Camels Prairie, for your use this season. This includes building repairs/upkeep and we have cut, hauled and stocked the supply of cedar firewood which will contribute to your comfort as you relax at these warming huts.
We have also been doing maintenance on both of our Tucker Groomers located at Nordman (Westside) and Coolin (Eastside). Of large importance to our operation is to continually perform regular and ongoing inspections and maintenance of our groomers to ensure they are fully capable of grooming the 400 miles of our trail system.
These activities could not be accomplished without the dedication and work of our 10 member Groomer Board.
The funding of our Groomer Program comes solely from the purchase of your Idaho Snowmobile Registration. In order for the Priest Lake Groomer Program to receive our share of these funds it is critical that you select 9A as your riding area.
We are getting excited, just like I’m sure you are, for this upcoming snowmobiling season. If you would like to learn more about the grooming program, snowmobile registration link, and grooming schedule you can find us at priestlakegroomers.org. You can also contact us through the website it you have any questions or comments.
Happy Trails to you,
Chairman All links to a Wonderful Winter Season at Priest Lake HERE