Yakima Project Flip-Flop Operation to Begin

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 378-5212
Chuck Garner, (509) 575-5848 ext 205

For Release: August 27, 2012

YAKIMA, Wash. - The Bureau of Reclamation will begin the annual flip-flop operation in the Yakima Basin by gradually reducing flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir in the Upper Yakima River Basin and increasing flows from Rimrock Reservoir in the Tieton and Naches River Basins beginning the week of August 27.

The purpose of the flip-flop operation is to maintain relatively low flows in the spring Chinook salmon spawning areas in the Upper Yakima, Cle Elum, and Bumping rivers.

"These lower river flows will be maintained during the winter and successfully keep the egg nests covered," Yakima Project River Operations Supervisor Chuck Garner said. "Operating the system this way also helps to reduce impacts on irrigation water supply by keeping reservoirs as full as possible for the next season."

This process also involves diverting water on September 6 down the Kittitas Reclamation District's Spillway 1146 into the Yakima River near Thorp, Wash.

Reclamation will install buoys around the area where Spillway 1146 water enters the Yakima River where they will remain until about October 20. For safety reasons, recreationists are advised to portage around this area and stay out of the turbulent flows.

Beginning around August 28, flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir of about 3,000 cubic-feet-per-second will gradually decrease to about 200 cfs by about September 15. Flows from Rimrock Reservoir are expected to increase to over 2,000 cfs by mid-September and could possibly reach 2,500 cfs depending on irrigation demands and weather conditions.

The flip-flop process also includes increasing flows out of Kachess Reservoir, while decreasing flows out of Keechelus and Bumping Reservoirs.

Streamflow information can be obtained by calling (509) 575-5854 or viewed online at: http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/yakima/index.html

# # #

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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link: