U.S. Army Corps of Engineers filling Bennington Lake

Water diversion started last week and will result in water being 20 feet higher than it is now.

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WALLA WALLA -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is raising the level of Bennington Lake to prepare for the coming recreation season.

Operations staff at the lake started diverting water from Mill Creek into the reservoir Wednesday. The lake was drained in fall for maintenance.

"When the lake is filled to recreation level, it will be at 1,205 feet above sea level, 20 feet higher than where it is now," said Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake Park Ranger Jeremy Nguyen. "The lake is filling at about 10 cubic feet per second, or about 62 gallons per second."

Once the lake reaches the bottom of the boat ramp, the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife staff and program partners from the Tri-State Steelheaders will be able to stock the lake with rainbow trout from the Lyons Ferry Fish Hatchery, Nguyen said in a release.

Recreation areas associated with Walla Walla District's Mill Creek Dam and Bennington Lake include Bennington Lake, the Mill Creek Recreation Trail and Rooks Park. The lake and trail are open year round. Rooks Park is seasonally closed to vehicle traffic, but accessible year-round to pedestrians. The vehicle gates are scheduled to open April 1, Nguyen said.

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