Snake River Flows Increasing to Benefit Native Fish

Media Contact: Annette Ross, (208) 378-5322
Michael Beus, (208) 678-0461 x27

For Release: June 05, 2014

HEYBURN, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows in the Snake River below Palisades Dam starting immediately to reach about 18,500 cubic feet per second June 8. From June 5 through the morning of June 8, the flow will increase by 10 percent each day until the maximum is reached.

Beginning Monday, June 9, flows will be reduced by approximately 5 percent each day until a seasonal norm of about 13,000 cfs is reached.

“The objective of this operation is to disrupt non-native rainbow trout spawning to benefit native cutthroat trout. A flow of 18,500 cfs below the dam will result in about 20,000 cfs at the Snake River near Heise gage, approximately 48 river miles downstream,” said Michael Beus, Water Operations Manager for Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office.

This operation provides the highest flows of the season at about the same time natural snow melt peaks. The river will be fast and cold during the high flow period. Please use caution and be aware when recreating near the river.

This operation was first implemented following the completion of the 2004 Ecologically Based Systems Management report. Since 2004, fish census work by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has validated the benefits of these operations.

This release of stored water from Palisades Reservoir will not affect Reclamation’s ability to meet its water delivery obligations. The water will be delivered to water users below American Falls Dam.

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