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Klamath Lake levels lower than last year

Winter weather, ice have prevented lake from filling to normal levels
By DD BIXBY, Herald and News 3/28/08

   Upper Klamath Lake levels are nearly a foot lower than they were at this time last year, but officials say colder weather may be to blame.
   The lake still needs 1.3 feet to be considered full. Its water level is down .92 feet, according to a Bureau of Reclamation weekly water report.
   A colder, longer winter and ice on the lake have prevented melt off from filling the lake to usual levels, said Jon Hicks, planning division chief at the Bureau of Reclamation.
   In addition, flow levels dictated by the biological opinion of the National Marine Fisheries Service downstream of Iron Gate Dam are keeping water levels low, Hicks said.
   Upper Klamath Lake inflow levels are at 2,817 cubic-feet per second. T he N M FS requ ires 1450 cfs at Iron Gate Dam until April 1, when the in-stream requirement is 2,800 cfs. From page A2
   We had to meet those levels downriver even though there wasnt sufficient f low into the lake, he said.
   Last years inflow
   At this time last year, inflow was 3,392 cfs in the lake.
   Because of water and snow still on the ground and wet soil, project irrigators may be able to postpone irrigating operations for a while, Hicks said, giving the lake a chance to collect more water.
   The current average snow-water equivalent is 122 percent of normal, he said, and the BOR has started to see a rise in levels over the last few weeks.
   Its been a very slow climb, he said. Its nice to see the lake climb its looking better and better.

Upper Klamath Lake levels

   As of March 24, Upper Klamath Lake was 4,141.98 feet above sea level and had 400,936 acre-feet of water stored.

The lake level is up .34 feet from last week, but is still 1.3 feet below full. Storage is up 27,437 acre-feet  from last week.

Levels are down nearly a foot from last year, and storage is 72,365 acre-feet down from 2007.

  Source: U.S. Bureau of ,  Reclamation, Klamath Project


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