White River flow level to raise back to normal levels this week
July 17, 2012 · 2:08 PM
Beginning Wednesday, July 18, Army Corps of Engineers water managers for Mud Mountain Dam on the White River will slowly begin to increase flows in the White River following completion of repairs at the diversion dam near Buckley, Washington.
Once flows begin to increase they will move from about 350 cubic feet per second to as high as 3,000 to 4,000 cfs over the last two weeks of July.
The water flow was lowered July 10 to allow for repairs to the system.
The diversion dam is part of the infrastructure that helps push water into the Corps of Engineers’ fish trap facility in the same area. It provides attraction flows to help fish find and enter the trap, and its presence helps guide them toward the trap. Migrating adult salmon, steelhead and bull trout are contained at this facility, and then moved in tanker trucks upstream of Mud Mountain Dam for release back into the river so they may continue their journey to their spawning grounds. Without a working barrier dam, this critical mission is jeopardized.
The Corps’ Seattle District worked with Cascade Water Alliance, which owns the barrier dam, to manage flows in the White River to allow for the safety of the workers at the repair site.
The repairs are important to the passage of listed threatened species of steelhead, bull trout, and Chinook salmon as well as other species, such as the estimated 622,000 pink salmon that returned to the barrier dam in 2011.
As always, river users are cautioned that flows can change without warning.