Brownlee Reservoir to begin dropping in the coming weeks
According to Idaho Power, in coming weeks, they will begin drawing down Brownlee Reservoir in preparation for its Fall Chinook program to provide spawning flow for the Snake River below Hells Canyon Dam.
As of Tuesday, Sept. 4, Brownlee Reservoir elevation remained near 2,057 feet, high enough to provide boater access to all boat ramps except Holcomb Park.
"The Fall Chinook program is part of Idaho Power’s commitment to protect and preserve the environment surrounding our dams and generation facilities," said Brad Bowling with Idaho Power. "The spawning flow will be held flat at a constant flow that will be determined in early September. Current estimates are that the spawning flow will begin at 8,500-9,000 cfs below Hells Canyon Dam. That number could change, based on weather and other conditions. Lowering Brownlee is necessary to make space in the reservoir to capture inflow that exceeds the flat spawning flow release."
Idaho Power kept the water level so high during the holiday weekend for recreationists, and in turn area merchants.
You can find updated Snake River flow and Brownlee elevation and boat ramp information here.