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Jackson Lake Draw-down Begins In Earnest

Jackson Lake Dam

Representatives of the Bureau of Reclamation are visiting with National Park and National Forest officials and fishing and river rafting interests by phone today as the drafting of water from Jackson Lake has begun in earnest over the past 48 hours.  Reclamation Water Operations Manager Mike Beus of the Minidoka Project says as the fields are drying out more downstream, more water is needed for irrigation.  Beus says it has been warm and dry in southwestern Idaho, and warm season crops need water.  However, he adds that some of the shorter season crops are approaching maturity and they hope there will be some relief from the water demands as those are harvested. None-the-less, Beus says the Bureau has increased the discharge to its maximum volume and by the end of July, Jackson Lake will be looking substantially lower. Beus says over the next few days, the lake will remain pretty close to 90% filled, but by the end of July, he predicts that the lake level will drop to the 60% range; and by mid-August, it will be to critical elevations for some of the marinas. By the end of the season, Beus says Jackson Lake will be down to an estimated 20-to-25 percent of its storage capacity.

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