News Release Archive

Reclamation Increases Flows from McKay Reservoir

Media Contact: Sam Stegeman , (541) 564-8616

For Release: April 03, 2003

The Bureau of Reclamation will gradually be increasing flows from McKay Reservoir beginning on Friday, April 4, due to reaching the conservation capacity of 65,534 acre-feet. The reservoir is located about 6 miles south of Pendleton, Oregon.

Reclamation will begin releasing 100 cubic-feet-per-second on April 4 and gradually increase stream flows to approximately 300 cfs by Monday, April 7. The 300 cfs level is approximately equivalent to flows released during the summer irrigation season.

The reservoir level as of Thursday, April 3 was 64,200 acre feet or about 98 percent of reservoir conservation capacity.

The early increase in flows was due to above normal rainfall in the watershed during late January through March. Meacham, Oregon, received 140 percent in January, 142 percent in February, and 219 percent of normal precipitation in March.

McKay Dam, constructed during 1923-27, furnishes a supplementary supply of water to Stanfield and Westland Irrigation Districts. The reservoir has an active capacity of 71,534 acre-feet, of which 6,000 acre-feet is used for exclusive flood control. Modification of the spillway section was made in 1978-79 to increase the capacity from 10,000 to 27,000 cubic feet per second.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the United States, and the nation's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.