Winter Flow Reductions Expected Soon at Prineville Reservoir

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Mark Healy, (541) 389-6541

For Release: October 24, 2006

The Bureau of Reclamation has begun to reduce flows from Prineville Reservoir to meet winter operation releases and to prepare the reservoir for flood control operations. The reservoir, impounded by Arthur R. Bowman Dam, is located on the Crooked River about 20 miles south of Prineville, Ore.

Current releases from the reservoir are about 225 cubic feet per second. Winter operations call for the continued drawdown of the reservoir until October 31, when flows will stabilize at around 30-35 cubic feet per second until the first week of December. Flows may then be adjusted depending on winter conditions.

As the reservoir level is reduced, Ochoco Irrigation District will initiate a construction project to improve the operation of Arthur R. Bowman Dam. Working under contract with Reclamation, the district will construct a splitter wall within the outlet tunnel.

This work is necessary in order to provide sustainable flows within the Crooked River while inspections and maintenance are being performed at the dam. Ochoco Irrigation District will plan, design, and oversee construction of the splitter wall.

Once the splitter wall is in place, Reclamation will be able to provide a continuous flow within the Crooked River while doing internal inspections and maintenance of the low-level outlet gates tunnel within the dam.

The cost of the construction project is about $250,000. The Crooked River Watershed Council assisted in obtaining a grant of about $70,000 and Reclamation funded the remaining balance. Ochoco Irrigation District and ODFW are instrumental in assisting Reclamation with the project, which is expected to be completed by mid-December 2006.

"These modifications to the dam will provide an acceptable flow for the purposes of sustaining the fishery and habitat within the river downstream of the dam," said Ron Eggers, Lower Columbia Area Manager. Eggers also said those fishing in the Crooked River below the dam should use caution and avoid wading during the fluctuations, which will occur during the day starting October 31.

Those who have questions about this process or the maintenance activities are asked to contact Ron Eggers at (503) 872-2795, or Leo Busch at (541) 389-6541, ext. 226.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.