Why Aren’t There Any Boats on This Huge Lake Just North of Tri-Cities?
When traveling I-90, Sprague Lake is visible on the border of Adams and Lincoln Counties.
Sprague Lake is a very large freshwater lake, but shallow, about 18' deep at best. It's located about two miles west of the city of Sprague.
Why is it that you hardly ever see any boats or swimmers on Sprague Lake?
With summer here, and it's a hot one, it's the most likely time for blue-green algae to bloom. The warmth of the sun combined with the still lake water makes conditions perfect for the toxic algae. According to the Washington State Department of Ecology, most blue-green blooms are non-toxic, however, some can be harmful.
How can you identify a toxic algae bloom?
According to the Washington State Lake Protection Association:
Harmful algae (cyanobacteria) blooms (HABs) are already occurring in Washington lakes this year and will continue throughout the summer and fall. Unfortunately, not all lakes are monitored regularly, so it is essential that everyone know the signs and symptoms of HABs to reduce adverse exposures. In short, there is no simple way to identify HABs on site or to tell if toxins are present. As a general rule of thumb, “WHEN IN DOUBT, STAY OUT!!!”
The WA State Toxic Algae Website provides information on lakes, ponds, and streams.
If you see blooms on the water, report it. You can call the Department of Ecology at 509-329-3400.
The news isn't all bad. The good news is that Sprague Lake is chock full of fish.
Rainbow trout, brown bullhead, largemouth bass, bluegill, and more can be caught in Sprague Lake.