Trinity River Flow to Temporarially Increase

Press release provided by the Bureau of Reclamation:

The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that releases from Lewiston Dam into the Trinity River for the “dry” water year with a total volume of 453,000 acre-feet will reach a peak flow of 8,500 cubic feet per second over the two-day period of May 5 and 6, 2015 for coarse sediment management purposes as part of the Trinity River Restoration Program.

Releases will begin increasing gradually on April 22, with more rapid increases from April 30-May 4, and remain at the peak of 8,500 cfs for a period of 2 days. Release rates will then be reduced to 2,000 cfs over a period of 11 days. As the flows recede, several days of flows at 2,000, 1,200, and 700 cfs follow for monitoring purposes. The summer base-flow rate of 450 cfs will begin on June 30.

The public should take appropriate safety precautions whenever near or on the river. Landowners are advised to clear personal items and debris from the floodplain prior to the releases.

The December 2000, Trinity River Mainstem Fishery Restoration Record of Decision created a plan for the restoration of the Trinity River and its fish and wildlife populations. The Program’s restoration strategy includes four different restoration elements, two of which include increased releases to the river and sediment management. Flow regimes link two essential purposes deemed necessary to restore and maintain the Trinity River’s fishery resources: 1) flows to provide physical fish habitat (i.e., appropriate depths and velocities, and suitable temperature regimes for anadromous salmonids), and 2) flows to restore the riverine processes that create and maintain the structural integrity and spatial complexity of the fish habitats. More information on the Trinity River ROD can be found

A daily schedule of flow releases is available at, and the public may subscribe to automated notifications (via phone or email) of Trinity River release changes. The flow release schedule is posted at the Trinity River Restoration Program office, located at 1313 South Main Street, Weaverville, CA.




    I’ve never seen Whiskeytown so low! Much of Trinity didn’t even get rain this winter, let alone snow. Dumping water right now isn’t a good idea. After they dump the water the cries about not having water will be louder than ever.
    One has to wonder if Tom is right about the planes in the sky.

  • The increase is designed to mimic what the spring snow melt was before the dams went in. Whiskeytown is the product of political pressure from westside ag interests who bought a lot of dry scrub land cheap and then convinced the govt. to divert Trinity water for irrigation. These big ag interests could care less about the health of the river as long as they get their water.


      Maybe, but they also flooded a major gold reserve and many feel that was the reason much of Trinity is flooded for safe keeping.

  • Kirby said: “The increase is designed to mimic what the spring snow melt was before the dams went in.”

    Dave, if that is the case, doesn’t it make sense to not flush the river in years that have little of no precipitation?

    Agriculture is extremely important for our food supply. The price of beef has already skyrocketed because of the drought. Recently there has been an outbreak of the bird flu in our chicken and turkey flocks. The food that we import from foreign countries has proven to contain contamination that is causing disease.

    I really think that Sac Valley crop water is more important than gravel. Plus we will probably need water this fall the save the Indian Salmon.

    • Probably Ernie if your trying to imitate nature on a year to year basis it would be better not to have high release rates in dry years but this program is supposed to remedy many years of restricted flow. The AG industry is consuming 80% of the water resource in this state….care to guess how much is wasted due to the fact they got used to cheap water and lots of it. Agriculture has historically been the tail that wags the dog in California. Although with term limits in place the rural legislators have much less power than they used to so that may change. Just my hit on the situation.

    • Westlands water district owns the rights to Trinity river water. They mostly grow cotton.

    • Just to be clear, 51% of the flow in the Trinity River above Lewiston is legally diverted to the Central Valley. The purpose of the pulse flow is to rejuvenate the de-watered channel below the dam and enhance salmon habitat. This peak may look dramatic, but only in the context of decades of regulation and diversion which have essentially shackled the river since the mid 1960’s.

  • My skull is about to explode. I’m going to go make myself a duct tape headband.

  • Here’s a graphic

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