Lake Pateros is a reservoir that sits between Douglas and Okanogan Counties on the mighty Columbia River. It was formed in 1967 with the construction of the hydroelectric Wells Dam. Along the western shore, the town of Pateros sits to the south and the town of Brewster sits to the north. Every year Brewster hosts a king salmon derby on the lake that draws anglers from all over the state.
During the Carlton complex fires of 2014, Brewster housed many of the refugees from the evacuated areas in the surrounding region while firefighters fought to contain and control the fires that burned over 250,000 acres of land. The above photos were taken near the height of the fires, when the haze had settled down into the gorge.
Kayaking northbound on Lake Pateros can feel like a bit of slog as you fight against the current, but exploring the small islands around Chief Joseph State Park, seeing the birds around Fort Okanogan Park, and the swift ride back make the tour well worth the effort.