Soap Lake will retain its name. On Nov. 16, state officials voted 4-1 not to change the lake’s name to Lake Smokiam after receiving several hundred comments from residents.
Proponents argued the lake should revert to its original Salish name, Smokiam, which means "healing waters." White settlers renamed Lake Smokiam in the 1800s, according to the U.S. Board of Geographic Names, and called it Soap Lake because of its foamy shoreline.
The lake lies north of Ephrata, next to the town of Soap Lake, which also retains its name. The lake is situated in the traditional homeland of the Moses Columbia people, a constituent tribe of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. Read the Wenatchee World article.