Reclamation Increases Flows in the Lower American River for Flood Control Management of Folsom Reservoir

Media Contact: Pete Lucero, 916-978-5100

For Release: December 13, 2010

California Data Exchange Center website
California Data Exchange Center website
On Monday, December 13, the Bureau of Reclamation will increase releases from Nimbus Dam into the lower American River from 3,800 to 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) for flood control management. Nimbus Dam, located 7 miles downstream of Folsom Dam and Powerplant, is a regulatory dam that forms Lake Natoma. Nimbus Dam's primary purposes are to control flow in the lower American River and produce power. Up to 2,500 cfs of the total release from Nimbus Dam will occur through the Nimbus Powerplant with the remaining release through the Nimbus Dam spillway. People recreating in or along the lower American River downstream of Nimbus Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento Rivers should take appropriate safety precautions during periods of high river flows.

The current storage in Folsom Lake is approximately 540,000 acre-feet. With a series of winter storms expected during the next 10 days, high flows will occur in the river. High releases are expected as storage levels at Folsom Lake continue to encroach into the required flood control reservation storage, about 430,000 acre-feet. The release schedule addresses requirements set by the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency flood protection agreement. High flows may result in isolation of salmon redds in pools separate from the main channel, once flow reduction begins. These areas will be monitored for stranding in accordance with the current Biological Opinion on Long-Term Operations.

Daily information on expected flows in the American River can be found on the California Data Exchange Center website at or on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website at For information on the American River, please visit Reclamation's Central Valley Operation Office website at

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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.

Relevant Link:

Reclamation's Central Valley Operation Office website