Snake River Fly Fishing Report
So far this runoff period has been extraordinary unpredictable, BUT the flows released from the Jackson Dam now seem to favor optimal flows for great fishing! Please read the story below from the JH News and Guide today.
“Snake releases a surprise”
“Water managers responding to an unpredictably steady rate of snowmelt have scrapped earlier plans and now expect to hold releases into the Snake River steady at relatively low levels through the summer.
Going into runoff season, Jackson Lake Dam outflows were predicted to top out at a flushing flow of nearly 6,000 cubic feet per second in late June and then to taper off to a summer release rate of about 2,500 cfs.
Instead dam outflow never even broke 2,000 cfs and now looks likely to stay below that volume into the fall, the Bureau of Reclamation’s Mike Beus said Friday.
“We’re on a completely different path than we anticipated,” said Beus, the bureau’s Upper Snake Basin’s water operations manager. “The snowmelt just went away.”
The latest models show that Jackson Lake Dam releases, 1,848 cfs on Thursday, will stay steady “approximately through next week,” Beus said.
“We stepped up to this level the last day of May or so,” he said, “and have been there ever since.”
Over the years average dam releases for June 28 are about 3,500 cfs.
Although Jackson Lake is 97 percent full, Beus anticipated being able to maintain the relatively low rate of release into September.
The water situation downstream at Palisades Reservoir is even more of a shocker.
“We were expecting 100 percent [full] and having a little bit of high flow,” Beus said. “We were planning to be in the mode of preserving space.”
Instead, he said, Palisades is 72 percent full and slowly creeping back down.
While the lighter-than-expected runoff isn’t ideal for filling reservoirs or recreational floats, the steadiness is generally welcomed by fishermen.
While Beus didn’t expect any major changes to Snake releases anytime soon, he emphasized it’s impossible to predict what will happen
“Forecasting our inflow is the next step past predicting the weather.””
Posted: Saturday, June 28, 2014 4:30 am
By Mike Koshmrl Jackson Hole Daily