Lake and River Conditions

Notices to Diablo and Ross Lake Boaters

Seattle City Light has completed most repairs to docks and facilities at the head of Diablo Lake that had been destroyed or damaged by a 2010 rockslide.


  • There is a the new portage dock for all canoe and kayak portage activities (note: do not use the ferry dock). The portage is 1.2 miles over a gravel road, with an elevation gain of 525 feet, elevation loss of 100 feet.
  • Ross Lake Resort also offers a portage service for canoes and kayaks. It is not possible to portage power boats, or any other boat that can not be carried, between Diablo Lake and Ross Lake. Boaters should be prepared to unload their boats and gear and carry it to the portage truck. There is a phone installed near the ferry dock for visitors to call and request portage service from Ross Lake Resort.
  • The Ross Dam Trail (milepost 134 off State Route 20) can also be used as a portage route to Ross Lake if need be, but it is not recommended, as this trail is a rocky, switchbacking trail that descends one mile and 900 feet to reach the lake.
Reservoir water levels fluctuate. Strong winds are common on all the lakes. WA state fishing regulations and fishing license requirements apply to all water bodies. Backcountry permits are required year-round for all boat-in sites and may be obtained at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount.
Fishing and other activities

Lake Chelan

Full pool = 1,100 feet

Open to fishing north of Stehekin August 1 to March 31; south of Stehekin year-round. Washington State fishing license required. Dock Pass (fee) required between May 1 and October 31 for use of all docks including Forest Service facilities on the lake. Passenger ferry service between Chelan and Stehekin runs daily in summer, a few days weekly during winter months. Contact the Lake Chelan Boat Company for current schedules and rates or call (509) 682-4584 for more information.

Diablo Lake

Current level

Lake level can fluctuate daily 1 to 5 feet. (1205 feet = full pool).

Due to silt accumulation, the boat launch is not usable for launching most powerboats. Expect shallow or no water at the launch ramp and the possibility of needing to carry your boat to or from the water.

Open to fishing year round with Washington State fishing license. Boaters use caution in securing boats, as lake level can fluctuate several feet in a short time. Backcountry permit required for boat-in campsites. Boat tours of the lake are offered through a partnership between Seattle City Light and North Cascades Institute. Call (360) 854- 2589 for more information.

Gorge Lake

Current level

Lake level can fluctuate daily 1 to 3 feet.(890 feet = full pool).

Open to fishing year round with Washington State fishing license.

Ross Lake

Current level

Usually at full pool between July 4 and Labor Day.(1602.5 feet = full pool)

Chart indicating levels when boat docks and launches are usable

As of 5/21, Lake levels are well South of the Hozomeen landing; no boating access.
Boaters should be watchful for tree stumps below the water surface, especially when water visibility is poor. Any level below full pool has potential hazard. Fishing season is open July 1 to October 31 and Washington State fishing license required. Licenses can be purchased at Ross Lake Resort at the southern end of the lake. Backcountry permit required for boat-in campsites.


Skagit River

Current flow at Newhalem

Within Ross Lake National Recreation Area: open to fishing June 1 to February 28. Washington State fishing license required.

Stehekin River

Current flow

Open to fishing July 1 to October 31. Washington State fishing license required.

Last updated: June 5, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


360 854-7200

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