Lake Walcott Levels Lowered Early Due to Drought, Warning Goes Out to Boaters
Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 383-2207
Mike Beus, (208) 678-0461 ext. 27
For Release: September 05, 2013
HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office is warning boaters to be cautious as the water level of Lake Walcott is lowered earlier than usual due to drought conditions and short supplies in other system reservoirs. Lake Walcott is impounded by Minidoka Dam on the Snake River about 6 miles south of Minidoka, Idaho.
The lake level will drop a little more than 2 inches per day until it reaches an elevation of 4,240 feet, the week of September 23. This is the typical winter storage level that is not often reached before mid-October.
“We want people to know that boating in Lake Walcott could be dangerous as the reservoir is lowered to meet irrigation demands due to the critically low water season,” said Mike Beus, Reclamation Water Operations Manager. “Launching boats may be difficult and dangerous in shallow water because hazards that are normally submerged may be closer to the surface.”
The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation manages boat launch facilities at Lake Walcott State Park which is located within the Minidoka National Wildlife Refuge. Boating is not allowed after September 30.
Lake Walcott joins American Falls and Palisades reservoirs which are already critically low and Jackson Lake, Island Park and Ririe reservoirs that are much below average.
For current information on the water level relative to the launch ramp elevation visit http://www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/ramps/ or call (800) 658-5771.
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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 www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR.