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Lake Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake (also called Lake Roosevelt) is the reservoir created in 1941 by the impoundment of the Columbia River by the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state. It is named for Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was President during the construction of the dam. Covering 125 square miles (80,000 acres), it stretches about 150 miles from the Canadian border to Grand Coulee Dam, with over 600 miles of shoreline; it is the largest lake and reservoir in Washington, and home of Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area.

The reservoir lies in parts of five counties in northeastern Washington; roughly in descending order of lake acreage they are Ferry, Stevens, Lincoln, Okanogan, and Grant counties. A good indication of the extent of the lake can be seen from a map centered about the town of Inchelium 48°17′49″N 118°11′48″W.


Once the lake formed behind Grand Coulee Dam, the Bureau of Reclamation referred to it as the Columbia Reservoir. In Stevens County, the Colville Examiner and other local newspapers referred to the lake as Empire Lake.

On April 17, 1945, five days after the death of President Roosevelt, Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes renamed the reservoir Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake. Secretary Ickes stated this token honor recognized how President Roosevelt championed the dam and advocated the legislation to create it.

Lake and lands managed by five agencies

Although some Washington Department of Natural Resources lands abut against Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, the state's Discover Pass does not cover use of NPS boat launches or tribal lands and waters.

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