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Snake River

5.19.2016

Below is a piece on the current Snake River flows from the Upper Snake River Basin water manager, Mike Beus as published in the Jackson Hole Daily by Mike Koshmrl.

Based on this current plan Reel Deal is planning to start guiding on the Snake River around the 25th of June, if conditions are favorable to a quality fishing experience.

Jackson Lake releases to rise soon
POSTED: WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2016 4:30 AM
By Mike Koshmrl Jackson Hole Daily |

Snowmelt is flowing into Jackson Lake at a slow and steady rate and is on pace to reach the reservoir’s brims by the second week of June.
At that time Bureau of Reclamation managers figure they will “ramp up quickly” the dam release rate into the Snake River to 5,000 cubic feet of water per second.

“We’ll then start ratcheting down to 3,000 for the duration of the summer,” Upper Snake Basin water operations manager Mike Beus said Monday.
Beus and colleagues will present an in-depth forecast of their 2016 plans for Jackson Lake, which drive flows on the Snake, at a meeting to be held Thursday in Jackson. It’s happening at 6 p.m. at the Antler Inn conference room.

Although Jackson Hole had a near-normal snowpack this winter, raging rivers this spring are an unlikely result. “If it warms up quickly, our inflow will peak quickly,” Beus said. “If it doesn’t warm up, our peak inflow may have been last week,” Beus said. “Total volume is going to be 90 percent [of normal],” he said, “but we melted it so early and the remainder will be so strung out that we won’t really see any high flows.”
In Beus’ view the Snake is headed for a pretty typical rate of flow this summer. Average releases at the dam are “2,600 or 2800” cfs from July through mid-September — a bit below his forecast for 3,000 cfs. Jackson Lake, about 86 percent full early this week, is expected to reach its limits by about June 10. Downstream at the Idaho-Wyoming state line, Palisades Reservoir was at 79 percent of its capacity.
The snowpack in eastern Idaho melted off extraordinarily early, Beus said. But, he added, it’s been rainy enough that agriculture doesn’t figure to have much early season impact on the Snake’s flows in Jackson Hole. “It’s been relatively wet down here,” he said, “ and so irrigation demand came on rather slowly.”
Water from Jackson Lake is earmarked for irrigation in eastern Idaho. Needs of farmers and the rafting and fishing businesses closer to Jackson sometimes conflict about when and how much water should be released from the dam.

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or [email protected]

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