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Jackson Lake Releases Stabilized

JL Dam

Among the natural-occurring events that took place during the government shut-down this month was the end of the irrigation season and the cessation of the heavy draw-down of Jackson Lake.  Mike Beus of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Minidoka Project says as of October 11th, the outflow of the lake was stabilized.  Bues says the welfare of fish in the lake and the river below provide one of the reasons to stabilize the drawdown by early October, but since the end of the irrigation season negates the need for moving the water.  Bues says this year saw a much higher demand for stored water, and they were able to meet the needs of some irrigators, but not others – depending upon their contracts.  Bues says the water supply was a little shy and the water demands were really big, driven by hot weather.  Consequently, he says, “We utilized almost all of Jackson Lake this year.” Bues says the water managers, who watch the long range forecasts for future storage, aren’t seeing anything particularly conclusive right now about the level of snowfall expected during the winter ahead in order to recharge the water storage.

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