Lower Flows at Deadwood Dam to Study Habitat for Threatened Bull Trout

Media Contact: John Redding, (208) 383-2207
Allyn Meuleman, (208) 383-2258

For Release: September 25, 2013

BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will maintain lower flows from Deadwood Dam through winter to assess downstream water temperatures for the purpose of improving bull trout habitat. This is a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The dam is on the Deadwood River about 25 miles southeast of Cascade, Idaho.

Flows will be held at 2.4 cubic feet per second (cfs) starting September 25 and remain at that level until the start of the 2014 irrigation season. These operational changes will address requirements set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"These lower flows will result in more natural wintertime temperatures in the lower reach of the river, which is beneficial to bull trout survival," said Allyn Meuleman, Snake River Area Office Activity Manager. "This will enable us to test our modeling results with the collection of monitoring data over a full year."

Reclamation's studies indicate benefits to water quality and temperature in the reservoir and river when wintertime streamflows are maintained at 2.4 cfs, which is below the current operational flows of 50 cfs.

Deadwood Dam was completed in 1931 and provides irrigation water to the Emmett Irrigation District.

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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.