Bureau to increase American River flows to 15,000 cfs

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Sacramento – The US Bureau of Reclamation today announced that it will increase water releases into the American River below Nimbus Dam from 8,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 15,000 cfs tomorrow morning starting at 7 a.m. to create space in Folsom Reservoir for increased Sierra runoff.

“Should inflows into the reservoir continue at current levels or increase, additional releases may be required,” said Shane Hunt, Reclamation spokesman, in a news release.

“The releases will be increased starting Tuesday, March 8, at 7 a.m. Incremental increases will continue hourly through 11 a.m., when outflows are expected to reach 15,000 cfs.,” explained Hunt. “Reservoir releases will be made from the main spill gates located at the top of the dam in order to preserve cold water storage for fish later in the year.”

Hunt said people recreating in or along the lower American River downstream of Folsom Dam to the confluence of the American and Sacramento rivers can expect river levels to increase and should take appropriate safety precautions.

The release schedule is as follows

Date                Time           From (cfs)      To (cfs)

03/08/2016        0700           8,000                9,500

03/08/2016        0800           9,500              11,000

03/08/2016        0900         11,000              12,500

03/08/2016        1000         12,500              14,000

03/08/2016        1100         14,000              15,000

Hatchery is finished spawning steelhead this season

Meanwhile, the Nimbus Fish Hatchery has finished spawning steelhead this season, with the last spawn taking place on Tuesday, March 1.

“Today was our last day of spawning – we haven’t seen any new fish lately. The fish we spawned were holdover fish from last week,” said Paula Hoover at the hatchery.

The hatchery trapped a total of 768 adult steelhead this season. While by no means a banner run, the run was much better that last season when only 154 steelhead were trapped the entire season.

The hatchery has to date taken 480,470 eyed eggs – and they still have a lot of eyed eggs that they haven’t measured. They should have no problem meeting their production quota of 430,000 steelhead yearlings for release next year.

Of course, with these high releases in Central Valley and other Northern California rivers, you can expect Governor Jerry Brown to begin switching from promoting his California Water Fix to build the Delta Tunnels as an alleged “solution” to the drought to pushing them as a “solution” to prevent catastrophic flooding!

Midnight Reservoir Elevation and Flows for Folsom may be found at Reclamation’s Central Valley Operations Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/mp/cvo/. Current American River conditions may be found at the Department of Water Resources’ California Data Exchange Center website at http://cdec.water.ca.gov/river/americanStages.html.