History of Lake Tapps
Lake Tapps was formed in 1911 as a reservoir for generation of hydro-electric power by Puget Power Energy. Originally the area consisted of four separate lakes, Lake Kirtley, Lake Tapps, Crawford Lake, and Church Lake. Two and a half miles of earthen dams allowed the water level of Lake Tapps to raise 35 feet joining the four lakes together.
The lake’s surface area consist of 2,566 acres with a storage capacity of 46,655 acre-feet of water. With 45 miles of shoreline Lake Tapps is only 13 miles less than that of Lake Washington located in Seattle. Lake Tapps receives its water supply directly from the White River, with its head waters located on the northeast slopes of Mt. Rainier. This mountain run-off contains glacier dust, which gives Lake Tapps its beautiful unique shade of green.
Large runs of fish, including salmon & stealhead, migrate yearly up the White River. The U.S. Army Corps of Egineers maintains a fish trap, adjacent to Puget Power’s diversion flume, which is upstream from the Lake Tapps inlet. After the fish are trapped they are transported by a special tanker truck and released further upstream into the Mud Mountain Dam Reservior enabling them to continue their migration.
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