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Increased Snake River flows to benefit trout

HEYBURN, Idaho - Snake River water flows below Palisades Dam are being increased to benefit native fisheries.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said flows would reach 18,500 cubic feet per second by Sunday.  Flows will increase by 10 percent per day beginning Friday morning.  On Monday, flows will be reduced by about 5 percent per day until a seasonal normal of 13,000 cfs is reached.

"The objective of this operation is to disrupt non-native rainbow trout spawning to benefit native cutthroat trout. A flow of 18,500 cfs below the dam will result in about 20,000 cfs at the Snake River near Heise gage, approximately 48 river miles downstream," said Michael Beus, Water Operations Manager for Reclamation's Upper Snake Field Office.

BOR has used a similar operation since 2004 when an Ecologically Based Systems Management report was completed. 

According to Beus, the operation will provide the highest flows of the season at about the same time as natural snow melt peaks. 

Fishermen and boaters are being warned that water will be fast and cold.  Use caution when recreating near the river.

The Bureau said the release of stored water from the reservoir will not affect its ability to meet water delivery obligations later this year.

The released water will be delivered to water users below American Falls dam.

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