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Boise River Flow Will Increase Monday, June 29 

click to enlarge The Boise River float season had a record-setting opening this summer, with Barber Park opening facilities on June 12. - LAURIE PEARMAN
  • LAURIE PEARMAN
  • The Boise River float season had a record-setting opening this summer, with Barber Park opening facilities on June 12.
With record-setting heat expected through the weekend and triple-digits continuing into the next week, the Boise River,no doubt, will be a popular place to cool off. Temperatures in the Treasure Valley are forecasted to stay above 100 for the next ten days—reaching 109 degrees on Sunday, June 28. 

River rafters beware, though. On Monday, June 29, the Bureau of Reclamation will release more water from Lucky Peak Reservior into the Boise River, increasing flows by 400 cubic feet per second, bringing the flow up to 1,200 cfs through the city. Increasing the flow creates a swifter, colder Boise River. Daily flow information can be found here.

According to a news release from the Bureau of Reclamation, the increased flow provides additional water for salmon migration in the lower Snake and Columbia Rivers. To satisfy the 2008 Upper Snake Biological Opinion from the NOAA Fisheries, the state is required to release 427,000 acre feet of water for salmon health, which comes from the Snake, Boise and Payette rivers.

A possible solution to help augment runoff for salmon is to build a 283-foot dam on the Weiser River, creating a 750,000 acre-foot reservoir just a few miles above the town of Weiser. The lake would be almost as large as Lucky Peak, Arrowrock and Anderson Ranch reservoirs put together.

Much of that water could be used for salmon health, relieving pressure from the Boise, Snake and Payette rivers. However, creating such a dam would mean losing recreational benefits and wildlife habitat along the Weiser River, one of the last free-flowing rivers in the state.

Read more about the current dam proposal on the Weiser River here
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