Reclamation announces start of 2020 spring flow releases on the Trinity River as part of restoration program

By on April 6, 2020

The Bureau of Reclamation announced Friday that Lewiston Dam releases into the Trinity River will increase on April 14 and will follow two possible release schedules depending on the 2020 water year designation. Current conditions indicate that this year the area is between a “dry” and “critically dry” designation, according to the five water year types identified in a 2000 Record of Decision for the Trinity River. The final water year type designation and associated release schedule is expected to be announced by April 10.

In a “dry” water year, the peak flow will reach 5,800 cubic feet per second (cfs) on April 26. The flow then ramps down over 49 days to 900 cfs on June 13 before peaking again at 3,600 cfs for one day on June 15. Flow then decreases to the summer baseflow of 450 cfs on June 30.

In a “critically dry” water year, the peak will reach 3,900 cfs on April 24 and ramp down to 750 cfs on June 13 before peaking again at 1,400 cfs on June 16. Flow then decreases to the summer baseflow of 450 cfs on July 3.

Annual total volume of releases during a “dry” water year will result in 453,000 acre-feet. During a “critically dry” water year, the annual total volume will result in 369,000 acre-feet of releases.

Visitors near or on the river can expect river levels to increase and should take appropriate safety precautions. Landowners are advised to clear personal items from the floodplain prior to the releases.

The Trinity River Restoration Program was established to restore the ecological function and anadromous (migrating) fisheries of the Trinity River. A 2000 Record of Decision includes five water year types with a minimum volume of water to be released into the Trinity River for each type.

Once a water year is announced, a daily schedule of flow releases will be made available at www.trrp.net/restore/flows/current/. The public may subscribe to automated notifications of Trinity River release changes (via phone or email) at https://www.trrp.net/restoration/flows/flow-release-notifications/.

For additional information, visit https://www.trrp.net// or contact Kevin Held at 530-623-1809 (TTY 800-877-8339) or kheld@usbr.gov.