Media Contact: Jeffrey McCracken, 916-978-5100

For Release: April 29, 2004

A Ninth Circuit Court ruling on April 23 significantly increased the volume available to the Trinity River. The Court's ruling came as a result of a request from the Hoopa Valley Tribe. In December 2002, U.S. District Court Judge Oliver Wanger limited the available volume of water to 453,000 acre-feet pending completion of a final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Report. The Ninth Circuit Court's ruling, in response to the emergency motion, increased that volume to 647,000 acre-feet for this year.

The newly revised 2004 flow schedule will be finalized by the Department of the Interior, based on a recommendation made by the Trinity Management Council to achieve a wide variety of physical and biological objectives. This schedule will not only benefit smolt (juvenile salmon and steelhead) growth and survival in late spring and early summer, but will also achieve substantial geomorphic benefits by flushing large accumulations of fine sediment that have been deposited over the past two years, move and redeposit gravel, and scour 1-2 year old riparian vegetation that has re-encroached along the channel's edge, all of which will improve habitat conditions throughout the system.

Under the newly approved flow schedule, current releases from Lewiston Dam to the Trinity River will continue at 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) through Tuesday, May 4, ramp up to 2,500 cfs by Thursday, May 6, and then continue up to 6,000 cfs by Sunday, May 16. The schedule calls for these releases to continue at 6,000 cfs from May 16 through Tuesday, May 25, gradually ramping down to 2,000 cfs by June 18, and finally reaching the summer base level of 450 cfs by July 22.

The new flow release schedule is available online at Reclamation's Central Valley Operations (CVO) web site at

For additional information, please call Jeffrey McCracken in Reclamation's Public Affairs Office at 916-978-5100 (TDD 916-978-5608). You may also contact Doug Schleusner at the Trinity River Restoration Program at 530-623-1800 or Tom Morstein-Marx at CVO at 916-979-2196, (TDD 916-979-2183).

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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.

Relevant Link:

Central Valley Operations (CVO)