AHSAHKA, Idaho – In order to meet flood control targets for March and April and to preserve water for hatchery releases in early April, Dworshak Dam will be decreasing releases starting Saturday night, March 20, at midnight. This decrease will result in the river lowering approximately 2 feet between midnight on Saturday and 2 p.m. Monday afternoon, after which time reservoir releases will remain constant.
The rate of change in downstream river stage will be limited to below one foot per hour as measured at the United States Geologic Survey (USGS) Clearwater River Near Peck, ID (gage #13341050).
The basin’s snowpack remains above average. Forecasts project below normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for this time of year over the next two weeks. This dry forecast, in combination with current basin conditions, has prompted the decrease in releases from Dworshak Dam and Reservoir near Orofino, Idaho. The release will be decreased from 11,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and held constant at 1,700 cfs through Friday, March 26. The goals of the planned operation are to meet flood control targets, support reservoir refill, and conserve water to support hatchery releases in the first half of April.
The Corps works with regional water managers, other agencies, tribes, and fish managers and hatcheries in joint efforts to keep total dissolved gas (TDG) below the Idaho State maximum threshold of 110%, when possible.
For safety, the public is advised to be aware of the danger associated with fluctuating river flows and elevations. The river at this time of year is deep, cold and fast, so extreme caution should be used near riverbanks. 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 in water elevation and volume of flow. Current Dworshak water-management conditions can be viewed on the Walla Walla District website at https://www.nwd.usace.army.mil/CRWM/Water-Control-Data/Project-Data/.
Release no. 21-011