Bend Bulletin - Boating access limited at Prineville Reservoir as water level drops

Visitors to the Prineville Reservoir this summer are being advised to plan for unusually low water levels that will impact boating and swimming activities.

The ramp slope and drop -off pose a risk to trailered motorboats for safe launching and retrieving, according to a release from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The department said the reservoir is more accessible for small watercraft such as canoes, kayaks, paddleboards and inflatables.

Chris Gerdes, the Prineville Reservoir state park manager, said the current low water levels are not usually seen until November or December.

Prineville Reservoir was 38% full as of Friday, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation website. In an average year on the same day the reservoir would be 83% full.

Boat ramps at Powderhouse Cove and Jasper Point are closed. Only one lane of the boat ramp in the main day-use area at the reservoir is open. Roberts Bay East and County boat ramps are open, but they are only safe for small, nonmotorized watercraft to launch.

Designated swimming areas at the reservoir are also becoming unusable, as the floating docks were removed when the water level dropped.

The low water levels have also limited the availability of potable water at the reservoir campground.

Showers are on limited hours and flush restroom facilities in the day-use area are closed (vault toilets are still open). Officials advise that if the water shortages continue, water may only be available to RV sites.

Photo Credit RYAN BRENNECKE