Newsroom Channel Reclamation Newsroom Channel Routine Maintenance Requires Drawdown at Black Canyon Diversion Dam
EMMETT, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation will be drawing the reservoir behind Black Canyon Diversion Dam down about 18 feet to safely allow crews to perform necessary maintenance. Black Canyon Diversion Dam is located on the Payette River about 5 miles northeast of Emmett, Idaho. <P> Reclamation will start drawing down the reservoir Thursday, Oct. 15, and will continue at 6 inches a day until Nov. 19 when it will reach an elevation safe enough for work crews. The public is advised to exercise caution around the reservoir and riverbanks during the drawdown period. <P> "Exposed sandbars in the upper reservoir may appear attractive for fishing or other activities, but people need to know these areas could be dangerous," said Steven Coulter, Black Canyon facility manager. "The exposed riverbank could also be unstable for people as well as their pets." <P> During this drawdown Reclamation crews will be cleaning the trash racks of accumulated wood and other debris. This cleanup improves water flow to the turbines which generate hydroelectric power and to the hydropumps that are used to pump irrigation water into an adjacent canal. Crews will also be performing maintenance on the spillway drum gates during the drawdown period. <P> The 18-foot drawdown will put the reservoir at elevation 2,480 feet until January 2016. Normal pool elevation is at 2,498 feet. <P> Black Canyon Diversion Dam, completed in 1924, is a multipurpose facility that provides irrigation water and hydropower. <P> McKay Dam Fall Construction Begins
PENDLETON, Ore. – The Bureau of Reclamation is beginning construction on the downstream side of McKay Dam this week. Reclamation’s Construction Office is making drainage improvements at the dam’s base. Work will consist of excavation, pipe replacement and backfilling. <P> Reclamation advises the public to be aware of truck traffic near the dam and to stay clear of the construction zone. The project is expected to be complete by December 2015. <P> McKay Dam is part of the Umatilla Project and stores water for several downstream irrigation districts and individual users. <P> <P> A Special Thrill with C.A.S.T. for Kids at Black Canyon Reservoir
In August, Black Canyon C.A.S.T. for Kids event had another successful year. Eager kid anglers started to arrive one hour before the event began. One would guess that the excitement could no longer be kept in. By 7:30 a.m., a line of boats circled around the park. Twenty-five boat captains signed in and it was the right amount needed to take out the 34 participants and their guardian out on the lake. <P> "C.A.S.T. for Kids is one of my most exciting summer events," said one participant. "This is my third year coming. I love fishing and riding on the boat." <P> This was a great fishing year. Participants chimed in on the radios to announce to everyone when they caught a fish. As the fishing adventure ended and the boats returned to shore, all the fish stories began and were followed with the captured fish to prove it. <P> "After 21 years at Black Canyon Park in Emmett, Idaho, C.A.S.T. continues to get better and better and it wouldn't be so without the great volunteers," said Erika Lopez, event coordinator for Reclamation's Snake River Area Office. "This is a very special event for the kids, their parents and the volunteers." <P> We hope to see you all again next year! <P> History of Minidoka Dam - One of Reclamation's Oldest Dams
With the passage of the 1902 Reclamation Act by Congress, the federal government was granted the authority to construct large irrigation projects throughout the arid western United States. Soon afterwards, Secretary of the Interior Ethan Hitchcock withdrew irrigable lands in south-central Idaho from public entry that would eventually become the Minidoka Project. Construction on the Minidoka Dam began in 1904 and was completed two years later. <P> In addition to the irrigation capabilities, the Minidoka Project was one of the first Reclamation projects to incorporate hydroelectric power. The Minidoka Powerplant began operation in 1909 and provided electricity for irrigation and drainage pumping, with the excess power sold commercially. This electricity was a source of pride to settlers in the area. Nearby Rupert was one of the earliest towns to be electrified and its high school was the first public building in the United States to be powered completely by electricity. <P> When the project began, word spread quickly and the barren area that had only a few scattered ranches grew to a population of about 17,000 by 1919. <P> Because of the Minidoka Project, Snake River Valley has more than one million irrigated acres of land that produces crops, supports a thriving livestock industry, provides flood control and offers habitat for fish and wildlife. <P> While Minidoka Dam has served the area of Magic Valley well for more than 100 years, maintenance and safety concerns lead to the building of a new dam and spillways system. Beginning in 2011, workers replaced the old manually intensive stop-logs system, which was leaking heavily and showing infrastructure damage, with an automated radial gate system that is vastly safer and more efficient. <P> Construction was completed in spring of 2015 and was formally dedicated by Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López in a ceremony on May 27. <P> Educators have a new tool to help teach children how harnessing the power of water transformed the West. “The Electric Project”: The Minidoka Dam and Powerplant, is a new Teaching with Historic Places online lesson plan developed by the National Park Service and the Bureau of Reclamation. The curriculum provides information about how the Bureau of Reclamation harnessed the raw power of rivers to provide water and electricity to thousands of Western homesteads and towns in the early 1900s. Learn more on the <a href="" target="_blank">Teaching with Historic Places</a> site. <P> <div class="fluid-video"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> <P> <P> Celebrate the Centennial of Arrowrock Dam
BOISE, Idaho – Nearly one hundred years ago, on Oct. 4, 1915, a group of Idaho citizens and the U.S. Reclamation Service celebrated the construction of Arrowrock Dam near Boise. At the time, Arrowrock Dam was the tallest dam in the world and generated national interest as an engineering marvel. Numerous design innovations from Arrowrock Dam were later incorporated into Owyhee and Hoover dams. <P> “I’m excited to share the history of this iconic dam,” said Jerry Gregg, manager of Reclamation’s Snake River Area. “We invite the public to learn more about Arrowrock Dam through viewing displays in the community, attending a special history presentation at the Garden City Library that includes rare glass plate negative photographs, and visiting the Arrowrock Dam Centennial website to watch the virtual tour, bringing the inside of the dam to light.” <P> Celebrate the Arrowrock Dam Centennial: <P> * View special exhibits about one hundred years of Arrowrock Dam history on display at the Boise Public Library, Garden City Library, Boise Watershed Environmental Education Center, and Idaho State Historical Museum. Check the calendar of events for dates: <a href=""></a>. <P> * Historian Kelsey Doncaster will be in Boise on Tuesday, Sept. 29, to share the fascinating story of Arrowrock Dam: Idaho's Eighth Wonder of the World at the Garden City Public Library as part of the Boise River Lecture Series from 6-7 p.m. <P> * Watch a guided video tour and check out historic photos on the Arrowrock Dam Centennial website at: <a href=""></a>. <P> * Check out our latest YouTube video about the history of Arrowrock Dam: <a href=""><br /> </a>. Arrowrock Dam was constructed in 1915 as part of the Boise Project, Arrowrock Division. It is a multipurpose facility that provides for irrigation, flood control, hydropower and recreation. <P> <P> Reclamation Selects Roland Springer to Lead the Snake River Area Office
BOISE, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation has selected Roland Springer to serve as the new area manager for the Snake River Area Office in Boise, Idaho. He replaces Jerry Gregg, who plans to retire at the end of the year. <P> As area manager, Springer will oversee the management and operation of Reclamation facilities in western Wyoming, Idaho, and eastern Oregon. He will begin his new position Oct. 19. “Roland has strong leadership and technical skills, with more than 20 years of experience managing engineering and natural resources programs,” said Lorri Lee, Reclamation’s Pacific Northwest Regional Director. “He also has a demonstrated ability to build coalitions. I’m very happy to have him on our team.” <P> Springer, a Salt Lake City native, served as the assistant manager of the Snake River Area while managing the Upper Snake Field Office in Heyburn, Idaho, for the past two years. His previous experience includes three years in Washington, D.C., as a liaison officer for Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region and on detail in the U.S. House of Representatives addressing natural resources issues. He worked on Colorado River management issues for Reclamation’s Upper Colorado Regional Office. He has also worked as a consulting engineer and management consultant, leading projects in program management, internal controls, and management improvement for federal agencies. <P> Springer has a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also has an MBA from Cornell University, and is a licensed Professional Engineer and a certified Project Management Professional. <P> Reclamation’s Snake River Area includes more than 150 employees and 12 irrigation projects that provide for the delivery of irrigation water, hydroelectric generation, flood control and recreation opportunities. For more information about the Snake River Area, visit: <a href=""></a>. <P> Download high resolution photo: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. <P> <P> Public Scoping Period Extended for the Proposed Lewiston Orchards Project Water Exchange and Title Transfer
Boise, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has extended the public scoping period on alternatives related to the proposed Lewiston Orchards Project Water Exchange and Title Transfer. The formal scoping period will now close on October 12, 2015. <P> Reclamation, the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District and the Nez Perce Tribe are investigating the use of an alternate water source to provide the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District with a water supply alternative to replace the current surface water diversions on land adjacent to and within the Nez Perce Reservation. This would include a water exchange and a transfer of title to Reclamation assets and facilities to the Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This effort is intended to benefit Snake River steelhead, protect natural and cultural resources important to the Nez Perce Tribe, and provide a reliable water supply for irrigation district patrons. <P> The public scoping comments will be used in a Draft Environmental Assessment that will evaluate impacts of the proposed alternatives on the human and natural environment. The Draft Environmental Assessment is expected to be completed by March 2016. Download public scoping information at: <a href=""> </a>. <P> Please submit written comments by October 12 to Ryan Newman, Bureau of Reclamation, Snake River Area Office, 230 Collins Road, Boise, Idaho 83702 or email <P> For more information about the Lewiston Orchards Water Exchange Concept contact: Ted Day, project manager for Reclamation at 208-383-2222; Barney Metz, Lewiston Orchards Irrigation District manager at 208-746-8235; David Redhorse, natural resource officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at 503-231-6791; or David Johnson, department manager for the Nez Perce Tribe at 208-843-7334. <P> The Lewiston Orchards Project is located near Lewiston, Idaho. Project facilities include Reservoir A (Mann Lake), Soldiers Meadow Reservoir, Lake Waha, four diversion structures, several feeder canals, and a system for distributing irrigation water. <P> Two Lake Roosevelt Bays Will Close to Motorized Boats
GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation will install wooden log booms across Moonbeam Bay and the bay at Redford Canyon beginning in late October. During construction, and upon completion of the project, motorized watercraft will be prohibited in each of these areas. Non-motorized activities will continue to be allowed in both bays. <P> The log booms are being placed to reduce shoreline erosion from wave action to protect critical resources in these areas. The log booms will span approximately 675 linear feet at Moonbeam Bay and 645 linear feet at Redford Canyon. <P> Both bays are located upstream of Grand Coulee Dam on the north shoreline of Lake Roosevelt. Moonbeam Bay is located about 15 miles from the dam and Redford Canyon is located about 24 miles from the dam. <P> For more information about the project, download the Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact at <a href="" rel="noreferrer" target="_blank"></a>. <P> Reclamation Awards $2.3 Million Contract for Radial Gate Modification at Cle Elum Dam
BOISE, Idaho - The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $2.3 million contract to Redside Construction, LLC, a small business based in Bainbridge, Washington, to increase the height of radial gates atop Cle Elum Dam, located 75 miles northwest of Yakima, Washington. <P> Once shoreline protection measures are put into place, the work will allow for a 3-foot increase of the reservoir's pool level. The Cle Elum pool raise project is a component of the Yakima River Basin Integrated Water Resource Management Plan, the result of a partnership of stakeholders that has identified a comprehensive approach to water resource management and ecosystem restoration. <P> This first phase of construction could begin as early as November and is to be completed by July 2018. <P> "This is a great example of diverse partners coming together to identify solutions to complex water resource issues," says Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner, Estevan López. "At a time when many western states are struggling with drought, partnerships such as these are great opportunities to create workable solutions that will benefit a multitude of people in this area." <P> Redside Construction specializes in marine construction, heavy civil projects and general public works. It has completed hundreds of private and public projects since 1984. <P> Reclamation Awards Contract to Upgrade Visitor Facilities at Hungry Horse Dam
HUNGRY HORSE, Mont. — The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $1.2 million construction contract Aug. 27 to Advanced Solutions Group, LLC, a small business based in Kaysville, Utah, to address accessibility improvements to visitor facilities at the Hungry Horse Dam. <P> The work includes replacing the Visitor Center overlook, adding a walkway from the overlook to the Visitor Center, improving the parking lot, adding two viewing windows in the parapet wall of the dam, and constructing a walking, viewing and picnic pad for viewing the Hungry Horse Reservoir. <P> On-site work is expected to begin in April 2016 with completion by August 2016. <P> “Upgrading and adding these facilities to meet current accessibility standards ensures that Hungry Horse Dam continues to provide a quality visitor experience at this important Federal Columbia River Power System facility,” said Tim Personious, Reclamation’s Acting Pacific Northwest Regional Director. <P> Hungry Horse Dam received approximately 19,000 visitors in 2014. <P> Advanced Solutions Group, LLC, is a general contractor specializing in construction, repair and alteration of buildings. They have completed work for other federal agencies including the Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs and the National Park Service. <P> Hungry Horse Dam stands 564 feet tall and was completed in 1953. It is located on the South Fork Flathead River, 15 miles south of the west entrance to Glacier National Park and 20 miles northeast of Kalispell. For more information about Hungry Horse Dam visit: <P> Reclamation Seeks Comments on Draft Environmental Assessment for Fire Station at Grand Coulee Dam
GRAND COULEE, Wash. — The Bureau of Reclamation is seeking comments on a Draft Environmental Assessment for building a new fire station at the Grand Coulee Power Office. The proposed project involves construction of a fire station to provide a sleeping and dining area, meeting/training space, offices, and a public reception area for Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Power Office Fire Department. The new station would be located within the city limits of the Town of Grand Coulee on federal lands. <P> The Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes potential environmental impacts of three alternatives, including a preferred alternative: <P> • No Action – Under the No Action Alternative, the Grand Coulee Power Office Fire Department would not build a new station and would continue to operate out of the John W. Keys III Pump Generating Plant. <P> • Alternative A – Preferred Alternative – Under the Preferred Alternative, Reclamation would construct a new fire station on lands managed by the Grand Coulee Power Office. The station would be located outside the west Administration/Industrial Area gate, near the intersection of Highway 155 and B Street. Access to the new station would be from Industrial Road, off of either, B Street or Highway 155. <P> • Alternative B – Under Alternative B, Reclamation would construct a new fire station on lands managed by the National Park Service at Crescent Bay, uphill from the boat launch and adjacent to the ramp access road. Access to the new station would be off Highway 155 at the Crescent Bay boat ramp entrance. <P> You can download the Draft Environmental Assessment at: <a href=""> </a>. <P> Please send your written comments no later than October 9, 2015, to Lon Ottosen, Natural Resource Specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Grand Coulee Power Office, P.O. Box 620, Grand Coulee, WA 99133. You may also contact him for additional information or to obtain a hard copy of the Draft Environmental Assessment, at (509) 633-9324 or <P> <P> Reclamation Awards Contract for Electrical Work at Anderson Ranch Field Station
The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $1.6 million construction contract Aug. 3 to Burke Electric LLC, a small business based in Bellevue, Washington, to replace critical electrical infrastructure used to operate the Anderson Ranch Field Station. Anderson Ranch Dam and Powerplant are located on the south fork of the Boise River about 28 miles northeast of Mountain Home, Idaho. <P> “A number of people depend upon Anderson Ranch Dam for agricultural and residential irrigation, recreation and clean hydropower so it is important that the facility operates efficiently and safely,” said Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner López. “When it is complete, this work will significantly improve the long-term dependability of the facility.” <P> On-site work is expected to begin October 2016 with completion in March 2017. Any interruption of power generation during this construction interval is expected to be minimal. <P> Anderson Ranch Dam was constructed by Reclamation in 1950 as part of the Arrowrock Division of the Boise Project. It is a multipurpose facility that provides for irrigation, flood control, hydropower and recreation. <P> Yakima Project “Flip-Flop” Operations Underway
YAKIMA, Washington - The Bureau of Reclamation announced that it will begin the annual "flip-flop" operation in the Yakima Basin by gradually reducing flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir in the upper Yakima River basin and increasing flows from Rimrock Reservoir affecting flows in the Tieton and Naches Rivers. <P> The purpose of the "flip-flop" operation is to achieve and maintain relatively low flows in the upper Yakima, Cle Elum, and Bumping rivers where spring Chinook salmon spawn. These lower flows are closer to natural flow conditions and are therefore more helpful to successful spawning and incubation of salmon eggs. This operation also reduces impacts on irrigation water supply by allowing for lower flow releases throughout the winter to improve reservoir storage for the coming season. <P> As part of the process, on or about Sept. 8, Reclamation will begin diverting water down the Kittitas Reclamation District's Spillway 1146 into the Yakima River near Thorp. Reclamation will install buoys that will be in place from Sept. 8 until about Oct. 21. Recreationists are strongly advised, for their safety and well-being, to portage around the buoys and stay out of the dangerously turbulent flows. <P> "Those who are enjoying the river should definitely avoid the dangerously turbulent water in the area where the spillway water pours into the river," said Chuck Garner, Yakima Project River Operations supervisor. <P> Flows out of Cle Elum Reservoir have been gradually decreasing since Aug. 1 from a high of about 2,700 cfs and will continue to decline to a low of about 180 cfs in early September. Flows from Rimrock Reservoir are expected to be in the 900 to 1,200 cfs range by Sept. 1 and increase to about 1,800 cfs by mid-September depending on irrigation demands and weather conditions. <P> Streamflow changes will occur gradually during the Labor Day holiday weekend. Streamflow information can be obtained by calling (509) 575-5854 or on Reclamation's website at: <a href=""></a>. <P> Prineville C.A.S.T For Kids Reels in a Good Time
The morning of the Prineville 'Catch a Special Thrill' event followed a period of unusually cool and cloudy weather. Starbucks and Ray's Food in Prineville donated hot coffee and donuts for the early morning volunteers. <P> As the event prepared to get underway, 19 participants and their families began to arrive. The boat captains and participants were eager to begin their annual blast on the lake. <P> The Crook County Search and Rescue Team assisted with loading the participants, launched the boats, and monitored the weather forecast. Crook County Sheriff's Office provided assistance with traffic control and public safety in and around the picnic areas while the marine patrol handled water safety on the lake. <P> After the morning fishing and boat ride, the volunteers were surprised to see so many young anglers come back with numerous smallmouth bass. There were smiling faces all over the park as the participants showed off their catch for the day. Pictures were taken and printed for the families as a keepsake. <P> "I saw at least one boat come in with a stringer full of fish, coupled with smiling faces," said Doug DeFlitch Bend Field Office manager. "It was a great day for the kids, their parents, and the volunteers." <P> "My son loves the water and fishing," said one participant’s mother. "This is a wonderful event." <P> Just before the barbecue lunch and dessert, which was donated by local businesses and prepared by the Kiwanis Club members, there was a short period of isolated thunderstorms, but that did not stop the fun. Everyone gathered for the delicious meal and some shared fishing stories. <P> The luncheon was followed by an awards ceremony. The participants, parents, and volunteers had an enjoyable time. The parents extended their gratitude, thanking all involved for the lasting memories this event creates for them and their children. It was truly a time to "Catch a Special Thrill" for all. <P> The Bureau of Reclamation and the C.A.S.T. Foundation want to say thank you to all the donors, boat captains and volunteers who assisted with making this worthy event possible. We hope to see you again next year. New donors and volunteers are always welcome. <P> <img src="" alt="Participants and family getting ready for some fishing fun at the Prineville C.A.S.T. event in Prineville, OR."/> <P> <P> Good Fun, Food and Fishing at the Potholes C.A.S.T. Event
Early on Saturday morning, August 1st, Potholes State Park began to fill with boats, captains, co-captains, and volunteers for the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation event in which participants come to share in the highlight of the day...Fishing! <P> Captains from the Potholes Bass and Columbia Basin Walleye clubs, as well as volunteers from the military, Bureau of Reclamation, Reclamation family members and C.A.S.T. staff were busy from the moment they arrived. They were filled with excitement and ready to share their knowledge and skills with the young "anglers." <P> Regretfully, there were wildfires in surrounding areas that made the air quality poor and visibility often difficult. However, the participants knew this event was going to be something special to remember. <P> When the young participants arrived, there were hats, tee-shirts, life vests, tackle boxes, and fishing poles ready to go. Such a fishing event is meant to be fun and safe so volunteer Emergency Medical Technicians from the Royal Slope Fire District #12 ensured all safety procedures were followed and assisted as needed. This year's participants ranged in age from 5 to 22. When the time came to board the boats, participants with their parent or guardian posed for pictures before getting onboard. More and more participants "climbed aboard" until all were holding poles over the side of the boats, waiting to catch the "big one." As one captain put it, "the kids just love to ride on the boat and spend time on the water; catching just one fish, or catching the legal limit is what makes the day even more special." <P> Two hours later, after all the fishing excitement, a delicious barbecue meal donated by People for People was served. The Columbia Basin Job Corps Culinary Arts students, led by Theresa Clement, Culinary Arts Instructor, served all the participants and volunteers with a smile and graciousness. <P> At the end of the event, one of the boat captains exclaimed that he wouldn't miss this event and he looks forward to participating every year and seeing his favorite angler. You see, it is not just about the experience for the captains, volunteers and young fishing participants; it is also about the relationships created and sometimes renewed, as well as having fun for the day on the reservoir. That is exactly what this C.A.S.T. event was all about; fun, food, fishing and relationships. <P> <img src="" alt="Participants and Volunteers get together for the group photo at Potholes 2015 C.A.S.T. Event"/> <P> <P>