History & Newsletters

 Our Mission

“The goal of the Association shall be the improvement and ultimate preservation of the historic natural values of Twin Lakes for all users.”

Twin Lakes History

Twin Lakes, previously named Fish Lake, became a popular vacation spot in the early 1900’s. People arrived at the lake by horse-drawn wagon or train. Several steam-powered boats served the lake by picking people up and ferrying them to their destinations and by delivering groceries to vacationers’ cabins. Twin Lakes had a sociable atmosphere created by various hotels, resorts, dance halls and boat parades. Bing Crosby, prior to his notoriety, and his cohorts performed locally and were known to canoe to Rathdrum via the creek on Saturday evening.

Logging, done with horses, was a major source of employment for area residents. At one time, three sawmills operated on the lake. School-age children attended one of the three school houses located around the lake.


Several factors caused changes at Twin Lakes. The advent of the automobile brought many people to the lake. The train route was eventually discontinued. Power boats became common. A dam was constructed in 1906 so that the lake could be used as a source of irrigation water for the Greenacres Irrigation District. The Twin Lakes Improvement Association was formed in 1956 and contested the lake’s use for irrigation purposes and won a court battle. The level of the lake is now set by Supreme Court order. The Twin Lakes Improvement Association continues to strive for the betterment of Twin Lakes.

The two lakes, joined by a channel, are about five miles long. There are currently over 684 residences around Twin Lakes. The lakes have remained throughout the years an enticing and unpretentious place for recreation including fishing, swimming, boating and waterskiing.

Twin Lakes Improvement Association was

incorporated on October 4, 1956.


  • Maintenance of adjudicated lake levels commensurate with established water rights of all concerned
  • Reduction of sedimentation and nutrient loading from forest, agricultural and other human activities
  • Increased coordination and participation with other public and private organizations involved with lake management, water quality and recreational values
  • Increased public/user knowledge of activities beneficial and detrimental to water quality
  • Enhancement of public use and environment of Twin Lakes compatible with the stated goal and objectives


  • 1969 – Established the historic lake level at 10-4 through the court system
  • 1975 – Established Twin Lakes Improvement Association’s storage water right to the water between 6-4 and 10-4 (based on a 1906 water right)
  • 1984 – Committed $12,000 to help fund the 1987 falter water quality study through the University of Idaho.
  • 1988 – Creating a public water district (North Kootenai Water) from a private system; TLIA deemed a non-profit organization
  • 2001-2005 – Helping get the new dam built.
  • 2004-2011 – Applying for grants/permits to improve the narrows, the mid-channel area, Fish Creek.
  • 2007 -2008 – Helping Lakeland School District to lower the speed limit on the highway in the Twin Lakes area.
  • 2007-2009 – Helping establish snow-tel stations to better predict/control the lake level.
  • 2009 – Finding the historic high water mark and getting the correct numbers on the new dam.
  • 2009 – Re-establishing TLIA’S 1903 water right with the state of Idaho.
  • 2012 & 2011 – “319 Grant” Applications with DEQ.
  • 2014 – Collaboration with Idaho Mission Project
  • 2015  Worked with Kootenai County wildlife Fish and Game for no wake zone signage
  • 2015 – Signage for boat launch and watercraft inspections
  • 2015 – Marine identification numbers
  • 2015 – Multi-jurisdictional all-hazard mitigation plan
  • 2015 – Narrows bank stabilization and sediment removal
  • 2016 – Boat inspections for invasive species through the Department of Agriculture
  • 2017 – Launched TLIA Website
  • 2016-2019 – Firesmart Program participation / Chipping Program
  • 2019 – Submitted IDL permit for mid-channel restoration project
  • 2020 – IDL approved permit for mid channel project. Now public phase of fundraising.
  • 2021 Reassessed channel sediment removal project using a new contractor and dewatering site. Updating permits. Continue public phase of fundraising.
  • 2022 in conjunction with other agencies we have new “no wake buoys” at both entrances to the channel.
  • 2022 – Defended the lower lake being made an excessive “no wake” zone.
  • On-Going – Citizens Volunteer Water Monitoring – Testing the water quality of the lakes – 1980s to present
  • On-Going – Working with Kootenai County Parks and Waterways
  • On-Going – Working with DEQ and EPA
  • On-Going – Participating in Lakes Groups, and Watershed Groups, Kootenai Environmental Alliance
  • On-Going – Built a positive relationship between Twin Lakes residents and Rathdrum Creek residents
  • On-Going – Worked to keep cattle out of the lake, the last 40 to 50 years
  • On-Going – 2019 introduced the aquatic rake program
  • On-Going – 2021 TLIA worked with the water district to assist in the inventory of water right holders
  • On-Going – 2022 TLIA applied for aqua board grant

Current and Past Twin Lakes Newsletters:

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