Reclamation lowers the pool elevation at Lake Walcott

Media Contact: Michael Coffey, 208-378-5020, mcoffey@usbr.gov

For Release: October 02, 2020

HEYBURN, Idaho – The Bureau of Reclamation is lowering the pool elevation at Lake Walcott from now through mid-October, to store higher-than-normal flows from American Falls Dam following the 2020 irrigation season.

The post-irrigation season flows from American Falls Dam will be 1000 cubic feet per second from mid-October to mid-December, after which flows from the dam will be lowered to the normal winter outflow of 350 cfs.

“The higher-than –normal, post-irrigation season releases from American Falls Dam are needed to support the ongoing construction at the American Falls Dam spillway through the rest of the calendar year,” said Brian Stevens of Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office. “The Lake Walcott pool elevation will decrease to approximately 7 feet lower than full pool by mid-October, then the pool level will begin to increase closer to full by mid-December when work on the spillway concludes.”

During rehabilitation of the American Falls Dam concrete spillway, flows will pass through the Idaho Power Company’s American Falls Power Plant. The spillway rehabilitation project will be paused at the end of 2020 and resume in June 2021. Reclamation plans to again lower the pool elevation at Lake Walcott during 2021 from September through mid-December.

Reclamation is coordinating with Idaho Power Company, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and local water users throughout the construction periods.

Reclamation plans to operate American Falls Reservoir consistent with previous years during the 2020 and 2021 construction periods. Up-to-date water storage conditions at the reservoir as well as information about releases from American Falls Dam can be found at the project website at https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/americanfalls/index.html

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The Bureau of Reclamation is a federal agency under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is the nation's largest wholesale water supplier and second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Our facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation opportunities, and environmental benefits. Visit our website at https://www.usbr.gov and follow us on Twitter @USBR; Facebook @bureau.of.reclamation; LinkedIn @Bureau of Reclamation; Instagram @bureau_of_reclamation; and YouTube @reclamation.

Relevant Link:

https://www.usbr.gov/pn/programs/ea/idaho/americanfalls/index.html.