Despite Drought, Most Lake Sakakawea Boat Ramps Should Be Ok

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — Popular boat ramps on Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota should remain in operation until freeze-up despite the dry conditions, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says.

The lake is about 6 feet lower than it was at this time a year ago. The Corps says it should peak about 1,838 feet at the end of July before dropping to about 1,836 feet at the end of October. Even at that elevation all of the primary boat ramps on Lake Sakakawea should remain in service, officials say.

Inflow into Sakakawea is expected to reach nearly 38,000 cubic feet per second in the coming days before tapering off to less than 30,000 cubic feet per second by month’s end. Discharge through the power generating turbines at Garrison Dam is expected to remain at 22,000 cubic feet per second this month, meaning a slow rise will continue into July with more water coming into the reservoir than going out, the Minot Daily New reported.

The reservoir would have to drop many feet below current levels before any of the lake’s primary boat ramps would become questionable for use, officials said.