Lake Tapps water levels will fluctuate over the next two months to allow for repairs at Barrier Dam at Buckley and to fish screens in the White River.
The lake should drop by about two feet over the next two weeks, and then start rising four to five feet late this month, according to a news release from Cascade Water Alliance, which owns the East Pierce reservoir.
The alliance said the lake should be at full recreational level by mid-April.
Plywood flashboards, which help make up the dam, have been washed out and need to be replaced in time for this year’s salmon, steelhead and trout migration, the alliance said. Cascade also plans to refurbish and test some fish screens; it’ll do the tests at high diversion rates, causing water in the lake to rise quickly, the alliance said.
Cascade said it’s coordinating the work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state and federal fishery agencies and the Muckleshoot and Puyallup Indian tribes.
The alliance, a group of King County cities and water districts, bought the century-old reservoir about a year ago to eventually use as a regional drinking water source. The alliance has said there still will be enough water for recreation and healthy flows in the White River.