Herald and News by Stephen
The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) has recommended reducing water
levels in Upper Klamath Lake in light of possible flooding due
to higher-than-average snowpack in the mountains.
In a statement Tuesday, the Klamath Basin BOR office said they
were working with PacifiCorp to increase releases from dams
along the Klamath River with the goal of reducing current lake
As of Wednesday, BOR measurements put the lake at 89 percent
full while the local snowpack is 113 percent of normal. Bureau
spokesperson Laura Williams said lake levels need to be reduced
in case warmer temperatures bring more snow melt runoff than the
aquifer can handle.
“We’re trying to keep Upper Klamath Lake at a level to deal with
any additional flooding,” said Williams.
Minor flooding occurred last month along the Sprague River due
to warmer temperatures and high precipitation, with similar
conditions causing flooding this week. Williams said
hydrologists are keeping an eye on flood data to determine how
low the lake should be and how quickly levels should be reduced.
In Tuesday’s release, BOR said they recommended increasing flows
at Iron Gate Dam, near Hornbrook, Calif., from 9,500 cfs to
12,000 cfs to mitigate possible flooding. With increased flows
from the lake, it is possible the Link River could flood, though
it is not expected to exceed 7,700 cfs.
Williams said it is important for recreationalists in affected
waterways to be aware of the increased flows and to use caution
when fishing, hunting or traveling on the water. She said
experienced recreationalists may already be familiar with such
concerns as high flows are common this time of year.
For current lake level and flow
conditions, visit www.usbr.gov/pn/hydromet/klamath/teacup.html.
Sprague River remains high
No evacuations have yet been ordered as high waters along the
Sprague River flow downstream, posing minor flood threats to
properties in the Chiloquin and Sprague River areas.
On Wednesday, Klamath County Emergency Manger Morgan Lindsay
said some barns and outbuildings were flooded along Drews Road
and standing water was observed on Mountain Pit Road, but
flooding has yet to threaten any residences.
Though current high water levels were predicted to flow into the
Williamson River by Friday, Lindsay said the water is moving
much slower than minor flooding experienced last month and the
Sprague River will remain high “through the weekend, or longer.”
Sand and bags remain available at Chiloquin Fire and Rescue
headquarters and the Sprague River Community Center.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
section 107, any copyrighted material
herein is distributed without profit or
payment to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving this
information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only. For more
information go to: