MOOSE, Wyo. — Historically low water levels on Jackson Lake are evident at Colter Bay Marina. Earlier in the summer, its boat ramp was open for recreationists to bring their motorized vessels and the area was frequented as usual. But in current conditions, Colter Bay is for the most part dry and vacant.
Such low levels on Jackson Lake have only been seen three times in the last 30 years.
Due to drought conditions throughout the west, water supply in the form of reservoir storage is in critical need. The Jackson Lake Dam contractually provides irrigation and flood risk management for the Upper Snake Basin. This area includes southeastern Idaho, northwestern Wyoming, as well as small parts of Utah and Nevada. The Jackson Lake Dam raises the water level of the natural lake by 39 feet.
Recreation on the Snake River is also being affected. All river users are advised to be aware of higher than normal releases from the Jackson Lake Dam that will likely extend into September.
For comparison purposes, the following photos depict Colter Bay Marina in seasons past. Most notably, the image taken in October of 2019 illustrates the normal water levels around this time of year. Today, it is a much different scene.