Loon Lake is located on U S Highway 395 almost midway between the cities of Spokane and Colville. Spokane is 30 miles south of the lake and Colville 40 miles north. It is located at the top of the divide between the Spokane River and the Colville River watersheds. At one time the overflow high water from Loon Lake actually flowed toward the Spokane River.
The lake is approximately 2 square miles (1100 acres) in surface area, with approximately 7.9 miles of shoreline. It is one of the largest lakes in Stevens County and has been established as a "lake of statewide significance" by the Department of Ecology.
The lake is located in a relatively small, closed drainage basin of approximately 12 square miles (7500 acres) with only intermittent streams that stop flowing in the summer months.
During the 1950s there was a bitter dispute over the lake water level. After much dispute, angry words and a few incidents, the issue was taken to court. The Stevens County Superior Court on February 24, 1950, established the "maximum water level at which the waters of Loon Lake is required to be maintained. Court Order No.13367 established an elevation of 2,381.25 feet and directed that "control of the waters at said level shall be maintained by the Supervisor of Hydraulics of the State of Washington." This agency is now in the Department of Ecology. A channel was constructed in the northeast corner of the lake leading toward Sheep Creek. A control dam with operable gates was constructed to adjust the water level. Water is released through these gates to flow down Sheep Creek.
The Department of Ecology was unable to monitor the control gate and the system fell into disrepair. Beginning in 1996 the Loon Lake Property Owners Association assumed responsibility (under direction of the Department of Ecology) for the maintenance of the level control dam and the monitoring of the lake level. Monitoring of the lake level is now conducted by an employee of the Loon Lake Sewer District who reports to DOE on a regular basis. A depth gauge on the control dam may be read easily from the side of the control channel.
The lake is essentially a pothole, totally dependent upon the watershed. Examination of local weather data indicates that the average net evaporation for Loon Lake from June through September is 31.6 inches. However, lake level records show that average lake level drop for this same period is only 14.2 inches. Where does the additional 17.4 inches of water come from? It comes from the watershed aquifer. Much of the water in the lake comes via springs in and around the lake.
Loon Lake is named after the lake itself and is in a mountainous setting at 2400 feet elevation. It's crystal-clear water is surrounded by towering pines, firs, and cedars. The lake provides excellent fishing for silver, mackinaw (state record) and German brown and rainbow trout (stocked by state yearly), plus bass, perch and crappie. An ideal lake for fishing and vacation for a day, week, or an entire summer. The lake is surrounded by private homes and two public resorts. as well as, a public launch for boats. This vital information about Loon Lake was obtained from the Loon Lake Property Owners Association and was originally provided by long time lake resident Walter Davis who is a professional engineer and hydrologist.
Loon Lake facts at a glance:
City: Loon Lake
County: Stevens County
Zip Code: 99148
Area Code: 509 Population: 30948