AHSAHKA, Idaho – Dworshak Reservoir reached full-pool elevation on June 7, offering earlier-than-usual prime water recreation conditions, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water managers announced today
A below-normal snowpack throughout the Clearwater sub-Basin challenged water managers to balance the need to retain enough water to ensure refill (1,600 feet in elevation) while maintaining space in the reservoir for any unexpected water inflows, said Steve Hall, reservoir manager for the Corps’ Walla Walla District.
“Along with requirements to meet several objectives to enhance ESA-listed fish survival, this was an unusual spring season for water management,” said Hall. “It all added up to an earlier-than-normal fill planned for Dworshak Reservoir.”
Dworshak’s natural resources staff and maintenance crews have opened lakeshore recreation sites for early season visitors and campers. Conditions are great for visitors – all boat ramps are open, and the full reservoir allows easy access to shoreline campsites.
Managing water levels throughout the reservoir system during this time of year includes constant monitoring of weather, downstream water temperatures, plus making appropriate adjustments to ensure enough water is stored in reservoirs to meet operational requirements.
The Corps advises Clearwater River boaters and other people using regulated waterways to always be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Current water-management conditions can be viewed online at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/WaterManagement.aspx.
Water managers are sensitive to the increased drought potential this year and are collaborating with regional partners to manage regional water supply to meet critical obligations, Hall noted.
Because many reservoirs had some fill carry-over from last year, water managers anticipate adequate water supply in most sub-basins within the Corps’ Northwestern Division, this year, Hall said. Although snowpack in the Cascade Mountains is extremely low (single digits), snowpack in the upper-Columbia Basin, primarily Canada, is closer to normal levels. Eastern Oregon basins, however, have experienced significant lower snowpack and inflows than other sub-basins.
A fact sheet about Dworshak Reservoir operation is available on the Walla Walla District website at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Portals/28/docs/dworshak/FS_DworshakReservoir150610.pdf.
“Like” Dworshak’s Facebook page to get in on the latest activities happening at the dam and reservoir www.facebook.com/dworshakdam. For information about recreation opportunities, explore the links at www.nww.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/DworshakDamandReservoir.aspx, or call the Dworshak Visitor Center at 208-476-1255.
Release no. 15-035