18-041 Dworshak decreases outflows; more boat ramps available as reservoir fills

Published May 1, 2018
AHSAHKA, Idaho – Discharge flows from Dworshak Dam and Reservoir were decreased just after midnight today, May 1, 2018, from approximately 7,000 c.f.s. (cubic feet per second) to about 4,700 c.f.s., according to reservoir managers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Walla Walla District.

The drop in outflows will allow the reservoir to gradually refill with snowmelt runoff, and make more boat ramps accessible as the water rises.

Big Eddy, Bruce’s Eddy and Dent Acres boat ramps are currently accessible for launching. Dent Acres’ ramp does not have a dock available at current water level, making boat access difficult for some less-agile visitors. As the water rises the dock will again become usable.

Safety is important, and the Corps would like to remind boaters to wear a Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device when on or near the water. If you do not have a life jacket, please check the loaner boards at Dent Acres, Big Eddy and Bruces Eddy -- they are stocked with an assortment of sizes to borrow.

Corps officials advise boaters and others using Dworshak Reservoir and the Clearwater River to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow during this time period. Boat operators should also keep the fluctuating reservoir levels in mind when anchoring or tying-off their vessels.

Although current conditions and forecasts prompted reservoir managers to make the shift from spill to fill, unpredictable future weather conditions could require necessary adjustments in future water releases.

Managing Dworshak’s reservoir is a complex task involving many federal, state and local entities. The Corps works with regional water managers, other agencies and tribes, and fish managers and hatcheries. The large multi-purpose reservoir has numerous missions and interests:

• Flood Risk Management – reduce flood risk from Orofino, Idaho, to Portland, Oregon.
• Recreation – a Corps-managed byproduct of a flood risk management reservoir.
• Water Supply – a Corps-managed byproduct of a flood risk management reservoir.
• Hydropower – the dam has three turbines to convert falling water into electricity.
• Environmental Operations – reduce impacts of man-made activities on nature.

The Corps’ highest priority is public safety, so we operate to provide flood risk reduction benefits, while continuing our efforts working with other agencies to reduce the impact of reservoir operations on fish. That includes efforts to minimize total dissolved gasses (TDG) in the water, and provide cold-water releases from the reservoir to help lower water temperatures in the Snake River during hot-weather conditions. The Corps will continue to monitor river basin conditions, weather forecasts and potential impacts on fish. Current water-management conditions can be viewed on the District website at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm.

For updated water level and boat ramp information, call 800-321-3198. For more information regarding facilities access and current conditions, call 208-476-1255, check out our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/dworshakdam, or stop by Dworshak Dam Visitor Center, which is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 18-041