Eloika Lake Water Storage and Wetland Restoration
Eloika Lake is a unique surface water storage opportunity. Approximately 1,400 acre-ft of water can be stored for release during low flow periods while still operating within the natural range of lake levels experienced each year. To accomplish this a control structure would be built to hold water that normally recedes during June and hold it until August, when river flows are the lowest. In addition to the control structure 100 acres of wetland at the south end of the lake would be restored and enhanced.
In 2020, Spokane County received a Streamflow Restoration Grant to pursue further evaluation and design for this project. The first element of the project is to conduct field investigations such as topographic and bathymetric surveys, wetland delineations, and geotechnical evaluations. The second is to conduct the necessary analysis of hydrology and hydraulics, water quality, fish habitat, and cultural resources. Based on the findings of the field investigations and analysis, project design and permitting will follow.
An important component of this project is outreach and coordination with lake shore property owners to determine how this project can be implemented so that it aligns with how they utilize their property while still providing stream flow and aquatic habitat benefits. Spokane County held a public meeting about the Eloika Lake Project on April 13, 2022. This meeting covered background information, a project schedule, impacts to the public, and a discussion with attendees. For more details on the meeting content, please view the meeting presentation.
Project phase: Site Investigations
Spokane County is collecting water level and temperature data and we are working with our consultant on water quality modelling, remote wetland delineation, and a hydraulic and hydrology report. These studies were submitted to Ecology in Fall 2022 and need to be reviewed and approved. Ecology has estimated it will take up to nine months for their review process. These studies will help to assess the feasibility of the project from an engineering/environmental perspective, but there are other factors that will determine whether the project moves into the design phase.