The Bureau of Reclamation began restoration flow releases on the Trinity River this week. The planned releases attempt to improve habitat for anadromous fish—fish that migrate to fresh water from salt water to spawn—like salmon and steelhead.
The California Department of Water Resources determined that the Trinity watershed falls into the “wet” category with 1.6 -million-acre feet of projected inflow to the reservoir from the watershed. A “wet” determination is one of five water year types used by the Trinity River Restoration Program to determine how much reservoir water will be released.
The 2023 flow release schedule is:
- April 15-16: Increase daily average flows from 3,550 cubic feet per second to 6,750 cfs
- April 17-18: Flows increase to 10,258 cfs then to 10,875 cfs
- April 19-22: Flows decrease to 9,250 cfs then to 6,625 cfs, and then increase to 10,792 cfs
- May 8-June 3: Flows will be maintained between 1,000 to 2,000 cfs
- June 21: Flows will return to 450 cfs summer baseflow, which continues until September 30
Visitors near or on the river can expect river levels to increase during the flow releases and should take appropriate safety precautions. Landowners are advised to clear personal items from the floodplain prior to the releases.
An up-to-date daily schedule of flow releases is available at the program’s website https://www.trrp.net/restoration/flows/current/.