Monthly Report Archive

YBSA Monthly Report August 2021

Storage: Storage in the 5 reservoirs is at 50% which is a little more than average for this time of year. Lake Keechelus and Cle Elum are at 30% capacity.

River Flow: The term flip-flop is used to describe the changes in the flows in the Cle Elum and Naches Rivers. The Cle Elum River’s flow is reduced to a minimum so salmonoids will stay in the main part of the river. The Naches River flow is increased to meet the flow in the Yakima River to accommodate out of stream (agriculture) and in stream (fish) needs. The increased flow in the Naches disturbs the gravel beds which make it difficult for fish to spawn.

Project Update: Now no word on the completion of the fish passage (the Helix concept) at Lake Cle Elum. The decision on the use of Lake Kachess is still pending.

Climate Change: Temperatures are increasing, and river flow is warmer which makes it more difficult for fish to survive and move up stream. Fires are burning thousands of acres of timber which provide a canopy to prolong the snowpack melt. An increase of river flow in the early months of the year will occur.

It Is Time: It is time to prepare a plan to address these problems. The Integrated Plan Work Group should check the use of Columbia River water to irrigate the lower Yakima Valley leaving Yakima Basin water for instream flow.

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