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Idaho State News

Dworshak Dam to Increase Releases at the End of March

AHSAHKA, Idaho –Dworshak Dam will be increasing releases starting March 27 from 1,700 cubic feet per second to approximately 4,000 to 6,000 cfs over a two-day period. Operations at Dworshak will change the height of the Clearwater River downstream of the dam by approximately 1.5 feet, over the two-day period.

With the increasing snowpack, releases from Dworshak are being increased so that spill and total dissolved gas can be minimized later in the runoff period. As the snowpack and weather conditions develop through April, water managers will continue to adjust pool elevations and releases to manage the flood risk and safely refill the reservoir.

Currently the forebay elevation is 1520 feet, which is 80 feet from full pool. For more specific flood risk information, refer to USACE Northwestern Division’s website: https://www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/report/colsum/.

The current operation with releases increasing to the 4,000 to 6,000 cfs range will result in total dissolved gas remaining below 110%. USACE will continue to work with regional water managers, other agencies, tribes, fish managers and hatcheries in joint efforts to meet reservoir objectives and keep total dissolved gas below the Idaho State maximum threshold of 110%, when possible.

The rate of change in downstream river stage limit of one foot per hour, as measured at the United States Geological Survey Clearwater River Near Peck, ID (gage #13341050), will not be violated due to project operations.

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/.