The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that this year’s restoration flow schedule for the Trinity River will begin on April 16. Each year, the Trinity Management Council advances a flow schedule based on the expected amount of water available to support salmon restoration efforts on the Trinity River.
Due to lack of precipitation and snowpack in the Trinity Mountains this winter, the flow schedule for 2021 is scaled to a critically dry water year. Critically dry is one of five water year types used by the Trinity River Restoration Program to decide how much reservoir water will be released in support of the Program’s goals to improve habitat for anadromous fish like salmon and steelhead.
This year marks the third critically dry year in the last five years for the Trinity watershed, capping restoration flows from Lewiston Dam to a total annual water volume of 369,000 acre-feet. The planned release schedule attempts to maximize benefits to the physical and biological character of the Trinity River, given the constraints of the limited amount of water available.
Key components of the recommended flow release schedule are:
► April 16-17: Increase daily average flows from 300 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 1,300 cfs
► April 21: Decrease flows to 500 cfs
► April 23: Increase flows to 1,500 cfs
► April 28: Increase flows to peak release of 3,550 cfs
Thereafter, two additional flow increases to 1,950 cfs on May 6 and 1,600 cfs on May 28 are scheduled before flow decreases to summer baseflow (450 cfs) on June 18, which continues until Sept. 30.
Visitors near or on the river can expect river levels to increase during the flow releases and should take appropriate safety precautions. Landowners are advised to clear personal items from the floodplain prior to the releases.
The Trinity Management Council is the governing body of the Trinity River Restoration Program. The Council’s membership includes Hoopa Valley Tribe, Yurok Tribe, Trinity County, state of California, USDA-Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Bureau of Reclamation.
A daily schedule of flow releases is available at the Program’s website www.trrp.net/restore/flows/current/. The public may subscribe to automated notifications of Trinity River release changes (via phone or email) at www.trrp.net/restoration/flows/flow-release-notifications/.