With the Snake River already at historically low levels following a bone-dry winter, federal managers aiming to augment salmon and steelhead runs will virtually drain portions of the waterway between Twin Falls and Burley beginning next week.
The Idaho Power Co. warned of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s plan to reduce flows to just a trickle below Milner Dam, starting Sunday and culminating Tuesday morning.
Flows will remain zero at Milner, a 101-year-old rock fill dam near Burley, until July.
The utility says the move will impact all river users, including irrigators with pumps and anglers.
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Virtually all releases upstream of Milner will be diverted for irrigated agriculture.
Flows in the mid-Snake River haven’t been this low in June since 2004, and they may go even lower, the utility predicted.