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Pacific Northwest Region
Boise, Idaho
Media Contact:
Mike Beus
(208) 678-0461
Diana Cross
(208) 378-5020

Released On: March 24, 2004

Reclamation Announces Schedule for Refill of Lake Walcott
Irrigation season will soon be here and Lake Walcott will be refilled for irrigation, recreation and fish and wildlife. The lake is currently about 5 feet from full. Refill will begin about March 29 and the water will rise steadily until the full water surface elevation of 4245 feet is reached about April 15.

A full Lake Walcott is held behind Minidoka Dam through the spring and summer months for safety and to promote stable operation of canals, increase boating opportunities and to facilitate nesting of shore birds on the Minidoka Wildlife Refuge.

The lake will rise about 3 inches per day and the launch ramp at Walcott State Park will become usable after April 5. Boaters are cautioned that hazards that are sufficiently submerged by a full lake may be exposed or obscured by shallow water. An additional hazard is created by floating debris caused by the rising water.

To fill the lake, flows from American Falls Reservoir, located upstream about 12 miles, will be increased from the present flow of 380 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 1200 cfs on March 29 and to 1800 cfs on April 1. Flow changes will be made incrementally through the work day to avoid sudden increases in the river. Additional increases at American Falls and below Minidoka will be provided as irrigation diversions begin. Irrigation is anticipated to begin late this year but is usually well established by mid April.

Current conditions are available at www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/ or by recorded message at (800) 658 5771. For projections or additional information contact Tim Miller, Hydrologist, at (208) 678 0461, extension 25.

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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.