19-026 Dworshak Dam discharge flows to temporarily increase to 5,400 cfs March 27-29 to help speed hatchery fish downstream

Published March 25, 2019

To give fish hatcheries an opportunity to release juvenile fish smolts, Dworshak Dam discharge flows will be increased Wednesday, March 27, starting at noon, from the current 1,600 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 5,400 cfs, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials. Reservoir managers plan to maintain the increased flows through Friday, March 29.

The flow increase will raise the downstream water surface elevation in the Clearwater River by about a foot, as measured at the USGS gage station near Peck, Idaho.

Fish hatchery managers at the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery and Clearwater Hatchery just below Dworshak Dam will release chinook and steelhead juvenile fish smolts into the river to begin their migration to the ocean. Carefully managed flows can help juvenile salmon evade predators as they are released from the hatcheries to begin their migratory journey downstream. The Corps works with regional water managers, other agencies and tribes, and fish managers and hatcheries in joint efforts to keep total dissolved gasses below the Idaho State maximum threshold, when possible.

Dworshak Reservoir has ample space for flood-risk-management operations, should inflows increase during this period. Additional increases or decreases may be necessary as conditions change.

For safety, the public is advised to be aware of danger associated with fluctuating river flows and elevations. Outflow water is deep, cold and fast, so extreme caution should be used near river banks. Boaters, anglers and other people using waterways both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River are advised to be alert to changes up or down in water elevation and volume of flow. Current Dworshak water-management conditions can be viewed on the Walla Walla District website at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm.

Public Affairs Office

Release no. 19-026