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Posted: Jun 11, 2009  12:11

Corps Increasing Flows At Libby Dam For Sturgeon


Contact: Greg Hoffman
406-293-7751, extension 255
Nola Leyde

Date: June 9, 2009

SEATTLE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will be increasing outflows from the current rate of 13,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 23,500 cfs tomorrow evening, June 10. This increase marks the commencement of sturgeon flow augmentation operations for 2009.

Those working, living or playing near or on the river are cautioned that river conditions will change rapidly on Wednesday evening and again on Thursday morning when outflows will increase to full powerhouse capacity, approximately 27,000 cfs.

Flows on the river will start high and will decrease through June as part of an effort to get sturgeon to migrate upstream from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, into suitable spawning habitat in a cobble- and gravel-bottomed stretch of river called the braided reach. By the end of June, following the sturgeon operation, flows will be reduced to the summer steady flow of 7,000 - 9,000 cfs.

During the early high flows, the river stage at Bonners Ferry, Idaho, is expected to rise to 1,759 feet, well below the flood stage of 1,764.

The Corps operates and maintains Libby Dam for multiple uses that are consistent with project authorizations and applicable laws and regulations. The Corps' primary consideration is to minimize risk to human life, health and safety while meeting Libby Dam's multiple purposes and responsibilities, which include flood risk management, hydropower, fish and wildlife, and recreation. Operations for flood control and fish water management were published in a record of decision by the Corps in June 2008. The decision was made after coordination with the region, fishery agencies, tribes, and the completion of an environmental impact statement.

For more information contact Greg Hoffman at Libby Dam, (406)293-7751 Ext. 255.


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