Cold water released from N. Idaho dam to help salmon

Lower Granite Dam on Snake River aerial from AP low res.jpg
Posted at 12:53 PM, Jun 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 14:53:46-04

Authorities have started releasing cold water from a northern Idaho dam to keep Snake River water temperatures cool to help migrating salmon and steelhead.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started increasing releases of the 43-degree water at Dworshak Dam on Tuesday ahead of an expected heat wave. The Lewiston Tribune reports the agency will up the flows to 12,400 cubic feet per second. The water travels down the Clearwater River and joins the Snake River at Lewiston.

The goal is to keep the temperature of the Snake River from exceeding 68 degrees at Lower Granite Dam, the uppermost of four dams on the lower Snake River. Temperature above 70 degrees can be harmful to salmon.