Fern Ridge Reservoir water levels to decrease

The Portland District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began to increase releases from Fern Ridge Reservoir on Monday, Sept. 10. Outflows from the dam will gradually increase from about 60 to 300 cubic feet per second. Corps hydrologists project that the 11-day release will lower the overall reservoir elevation by about one inch per day, or less than a foot of overall elevation decrease.
The release will augment flows on the Willamette River to help meet downstream flow requirements for threatened and endangered fish.
The Corps anticipated there will still be adequate water in Fern Ridge Reservoir for recreation; however, water users should be aware of potential water hazards due to this one-foot change.
Boaters who moor their watercraft on Fern Ridge Reservoir should remember to monitor changing water levels and conditions to ensure they have time to make arrangements to remove boats before launching ramps become unusable. Additionally, the Corps urged boaters who plan on using the reservoir into the fall and winter to take extra precautions, as stumps begin to appear in greater numbers with the receding water levels.
Irrigators along the Long Tom River should consider relocating water pumps that may be damaged by higher flows.
The Willamette Valley consists of 13 Corps-operated dams and reservoirs that work as a system to provide flood risk management, recreation, water quality, water supply and more to the region. Many factors impact water levels in the Willamette Valley’s lakes and reservoirs throughout the summer and fall, including Willamette Biological Opinion – which focuses on meeting target flows for fish downstream – but lack of inflows to those water bodies is another factor on which hydrologists base released decisions.
For additional information or questions regarding water levels at Fern Ridge, call the Willamette Valley Project ranger staff at 541-942-5631.



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