Deep Draft Boats, Motors Allowed
Post Falls Reservoir (Spokane River) - Deep Draft Boats/Keelboats
208-769-1357 for Post Falls Dam info or view @ http://www.avistautilities.com/resources/hydro/weather.asp
Boat traffic on this reservoir is not a problem during spring or fall, but during summer the traffic on this reservoir is best described as nuts! If you boat this reservoir in the summer follow all boating rules and practice very defensive boating.
The reservoir is narrow and shallow in places but the main channel is deep enough for deep draft boats and keelboats. Boating on this reservoir from one end to the other and on into Lake Coeur d'Alene is an adventure. Kayakers, please see kayak route info below.
Bridges and Power Lines: Two bridges cross the reservoir. HWY 95 Bridge crosses the reservoir/river on the east end and through Blackwell Island and on the west end. Spokane Avenue Bridge crosses the reservoir next to Q'emiln Park. At the Spokane Ave. On the bridge there is an electric sign (hanging over the river in boaters view - not in view from the street) indicating if the gates on the dam are open or not; open gates indicate greater current. Height clearance via the main channel when passing under the bridge is 20'-40' depending upon water level via the main channel.
Power lines cross the Reservoir in at least 3 places (watch for more because as the area develops more lines may be put in) which can be an issue for sailboats. There are a bunch of power lines that cross near the Spokane Bridge. There is another set of lines east of the Green Ferry Launch (and widest part of the reservoir), and another one after that.
View Post Falls Reservoir, Spokane River, Kootenai County, ID. in a larger map
MAPS - CLICK HERE FOR POST FALLS RESERVOIR MAPS:
MAP 1 - Lake Coeur d'Alene to Huetter Rd., MAP 2 - Huetter Rd. to Post Falls Dam, MAP 3 - See the above Google Map.
PARKS & BOAT LAUNCHES: There are five nice parks on the reservoir. Below is a list of the reservoir/river access sites starting from the east end of the reservoir/river going west.
1. North Idaho College (NIC) public beach... This park has several restroom facilities, running water, and picnic tables. There is no boat launch but it is a popular spot for kayakers or small boat sailors to portage from the road to waters edge to access either the reservoir/river or Lake Coeur d'Alene. Directions: From I90 take exit 11. Turn southeast toward the City of Coeur d'Alene city center. On Northwest Boulevard follow the signs to North Idaho College, take the road that goes around the college along the lake & river to where the boats are on the beach and dock. Maps: To view a map view the above maps.
This is the main boat launch on the east end the Post Falls Reservoir, .4 miles down
Info: There is a Blackwell Island RV Park right across the street from the boat launch http://www.idahorvpark.com/index.html
Islands & Bays (Places to Anchor)
Islands: There are 7 main Islands within the Post Falls Reservoir of the Spokane River as well as two more very small unnamed islands. Going from where the Spokane River starts at Lake Coeur d'Alene to Post Falls (westerly direction) are Blackwell Island and Little Blackwell Island. These are the only Islands on the river that the public is allowed to access. When the reservoir/river is drawn down, the channel between these two Islands disappears and the Islands become one and connects with the mainland. The channel is a nice place to swim and kayak from. When there is water in this channel it is for non-motorized use only. Amenities include a park with double boat launch and docks, restrooms, picnic areas, nature trail boardwalk, and shelters. There is one marina, a privately owned campground, and the famous floating restaurant, Cedars.
The next Island is Marsh Island. No power boat traffic is allowed to go behind the Island due to the wildlife restrictions. One can access this area to view water foul via kayaks by launching across the river at Mill River Park.
A short distance up river is Hidden Island. It is privately owned and has a channel that dead ends due to a low bridge, which even a kayak can't go under.
The second largest Island on the reservoir/river is Harbor Island, which, like the other Islands, also has a channel that is accessible from the reservoir/river. This channel has privately owned docks along its length but is not a channel that non-resident power boaters use as it is in a no wake zone and dead ends at the bridge. At east entrance to this channel is a sign that says "dead end." However, this doesn't apply to those in kayaks or canoes which can easily pass under the bridge. This is a beautiful place to paddle and a nice way to get out of reservoir/river traffic.
There are two designated wildlife Island(s) on this reservoir/river - the Twin Goose Islands. This is one Island in the winter when the reservoir is drawn down, and two Islands in the summer when the reservoir is full. Location is about 1 mile east of the dam. These twin Islands are water foul habitation so are not to be accessed by people.
The final Island is Span Way Island, a privately owned island with houses on it. Span Way is just a short distance up the river from Q'emiln Park and on the same side of the river (south side). There is a channel around the island but where the street crosses to the Island there is a pipe that passes under creating an impassable barrier that even a swimmer couldn't get through. The channel on either side of this road is private and used by the owners of the homes along the channel for their water craft.
Bays: There are several bays and inlets that seem to be ideal locations to get away from the main channel of the reservoir. Black Bay (See Black Bay Park) is a perfect bay to get away from the boating traffic, particularly if you are on a kayak or non-motorized vessel. This bay is part of a park ran by the city of Post Falls. Going into the bay a short distance you can anchor your power boat and relax. The bay is a button hook shape and half way into the bay there are signs prohibiting motorized vessels. It's quite a nice place go to kayak and especially swim.
Ross Point Bay is another nice anchoring spot. It is surrounded by a Church Camp so you will want to be mindful of what you do, and if you are listening to music please keep the volume down when in this bay. The land around this bay is owned by the Baptist church so the general public is not allowed to go on shore.
There are several other inlets/coves; Hidden Cove is across from Ross Point Bay. But like the other small inlets, it is surrounded by homes and is really too small to anchor in without impeding boat traffic from those homes. The public boat launch among these inlets is the Greens Ferry Public Boat Launch; there is a narrow channel leading to and from this launch facility. The channel was created primarily by Cedar Creek and the increased water level from the dam. There is no water in this channel during the winter and it is only 2-4 feet deep during the summer. This channel can be busy due to boats leaving from and returning to the boat launch and private residences, so is not a channel to anchor in or obstruct.