Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: May 06, 2004

Beginning today, Thursday, May 5, 2004, Reclamation is making an early permanent closure of the Red Bluff Diversion Dam gates to meet water demands that cannot be met in any other way. The early closure is due to the early onset of hot weather.

On April 30, 2004, the Tehama Colusa Canal Authority (TCCA) requested that an early gate closure occur no later than May 8, 2004. Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries, and TCCA staffs have since agreed to close the gates at midnight, May 6, 2004, subject to concurrence by NOAA Fisheries' management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game staffs have been informed of the agreement and the underlying need.

The decision to close the gates was delayed as long as possible to minimize the effect on spring-run Chinook salmon, and allow a drag boat race promoter time to grade the bottom of East Sand Slough where the race starts.

The Sacramento River flow out of Keswick Dam will begin to increase on today at 3 p.m. from 10,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 14,000 cfs by 7 p.m., ramping back down to 10,400 by 2 a.m. on May 8. Nearby residents will not see any increase in Lake Red Bluff until early morning, May 7.

For more information, please contact Paul Freeman at Reclamation's Northern California Area Office at 530-529-3890 (TDD 700-450-6000).

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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.