Flows are going up on the South Fork! As of yesterday the flows were increased and will continue to increase until they reach 18,000 cfs on the 18th of May. Once this is sustained for a couple days the flows will drop to it’s normal summer flows around 13,000 cfs in time for Memorial Day weekend. Apparently we have enough snow pack in the mountains that they feel we can have a flush this year. The reservoir is only 43% full right now but the inflow into the lake is rising very quickly.
We don’t advise floating the river during the flush due to all the trees and debris that will be floating down the river. Time to focus on the Henry’s Fork for a week to 10 days.
Here is the press release from the Bureau of Reclamation:
Snake River Flows Increasing to Benefit Native Fish
BURLEY, Idaho — The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows in the Snake River below Palisades Dam this week to about 18,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Each day, starting May 13, the flow will increase about 15 percent until the maximum is reached on May 18. After the high flow is sustained for two days, it will be slowly decreased. The flow will return to the 30-year average of about 13,000 cfs during Memorial Day weekend.
“One objective of this operation is to approach 20,000 cfs at the gage near Heise, approximately 48 river miles downstream of Palisades,” said Roland Springer, Assistant Area Manager for Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office. “Providing high flows at the same time that nature would provide them benefits native fish.”
These water releases will not affect Reclamation’s ability to meet its water delivery obligations. American Falls Reservoir will store the water that is passed through Palisades Reservoir to be used farther downstream.
The river will be fast and cold during the high flow period. Please use caution and be aware when recreating near the river.