Federal agencies announce final schedule for Clear Creek spring pulse flows

By on May 14, 2020

The Bureau of Reclamation, NOAA Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced the plan today for two pulse flow releases from Whiskeytown Dam into Clear Creek in May and June. Pulse flows are rapid increases and decreases in dam released flows, occurring over a short time frame.

The releases of water help advance recovery of threatened Central Valley spring-run Chinook salmon by attracting adult salmon to move upstream to take advantage of recently improved habitat.

Flow release for the first pulse will begin and reach a peak of 800 cubic feet per second May 8. Flow rates will reduce to 200 cfs by May 17. The second pulse flow will begin June 19 and reach a peak of 500 cfs June 19. Following the peak flow, releases will steadily reduce to a 150 cfs summer base flow by June 27.

During pulse flows, water levels are higher and currents are faster. Visitors should use caution when near or on Clear Creek for May and June’s pulse flows.

The two pulse flows are consistent with the 2019 Biological Opinions for the Coordinated Long-Term Operation of the Central Valley Project and State Water Project. These pulse flows are intended to encourage spring-run Chinook salmon to migrate further upstream to access colder water temperatures, large holding pools and newly provided clean spawning gravel.

Water released as part of the pulse flows will remain within the Central Valley Project system and be available for use downstream by Reclamation customers, including agricultural and municipal and industrial users in the Central Valley.

For more information, contact Derek Rupert, Bureau of Reclamation, at 530-247-8514 (TTY 800-877-8339) or drupert@usbr.gov.