AHSAHKA, Idaho –Three Dworshak Reservoir docks have been damaged by anchors and cables as reservoir levels rose during recent record inflows.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removed the Freds Bay safe harbor dock due to safety concerns. Drift Creek and Indian Creek docks are being monitored after they sustained lesser damage. Both docks are still useable, though parts of them may be submerged.
As the reservoir rises, dock anchors and cables can get hung up. Sometimes water levels rise as much as 6 feet in a 24-hour period. If the docks are deemed unsafe for the public, Dworshak maintenance staff may pull the docks out of service until repairs can be made.
This is not a typical year for water management at Dworshak. Reservoir water levels have been carefully managed to prepare for record inflows. Starting in January, the reservoir was gradually drawn down to reach 1451 feet in elevation (about 150 feet from full pool) by April 15, 2011 to make room for melting snowpack. Currently, refill operations continue as the Corps also manages flood risk by passing record amounts of run-off inflows through the dam’s powerhouse.
“This has been a very challenging spring with the drawdown and the fast-rising levels,” said Dworshak Project Manager Paul Pence. “Our dedicated maintenance staff have all the shoreline minicamps open and ready for visitors. It should be a terrific Fourth of July weekend with plenty of recreation opportunities on the reservoir.”
Also, Big Eddy trail hikers are advised that a foot bridge near mile marker 3 has been removed due to safety reasons. Hikers should watch for detour signs that allow them to take an alternate route.
For more information regarding water levels, facilities access or recreation, call Dworshak Dam Visitor Center at 208-476-1255. Dworshak Dam Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Release no. 11-97