Dworshak Dam discharge increasing to safely control the rate of reservoir fill

Published May 17, 2024

AHSAHKA, Idaho – Dworshak Dam is currently releasing 1,600 cubic feet per second (cfs). Flows will begin increasing on the evening of Tuesday, May 21st to be in the approximate range of 3,000-5,000 cfs.

The increase to Dworshak releases is expected to result in the Clearwater River near Peck, Idaho increasing by less than a foot. And remain within the stage limit of one foot per hour, as measured at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Clearwater River Near Peck, Idaho (gage #13341050).

The dam has been releasing minimum flows for most of 2024 to allow the reservoir to fill as much as possible. The reservoir is at a current elevation of 1,585 feet, 15 feet from a full pool. Water managers have been conservative with fill because the below average snowpack and water supply for the year. The planned increase in discharge is due to Dworshak transitioning into final fill as the last of the snowpack melts off. The snow melt and peak inflow to the reservoir are occurring approximately 2 weeks earlier than average. Therefore, the reservoir is safe to be within 10 feet from full for Memorial Day weekend.

A snowline verification flight is planned for the last week of May to assess the remaining snowpack in the Clearwater basin and if it is safe to allow the reservoir to fill into the last 10 feet. Results from the snow flight will be published at the following link: Walla Walla District > Missions > Water Management (army.mil)

This operation will result in total dissolved gas (TDG) remaining below 110%. The Corps will continue to work with regional water managers, other agencies, tribes, and fish managers and hatcheries in joint efforts to meet reservoir objectives and 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/.

Walla Walla District Public Affairs

Release no. 24-029