Great News. After years of hard work the AWA, FERC, Pacificorp and a host of concerned river runners, the Bear River will have some sceduled recreational releases for 2009. The Bear consistently has water. But due to the Grace Dam, the best whitewater stretch is dry most of the year. Most of our lives. Map
Now all that is about to change. This summer has four planned recreational releases. And a bunch of others if the flows are high enough for everyone to make money. Win Win.The Black Canyon below the Grace dam and the Oneida Narrows below the Oneida dam is a short stretch of class IV water with a couple rapids bordering on the V scale. thanks to the new license agreement from FERC for PacifiCorp, the licensee for sucking the canyon dry and keeping our houses lit at night. the New license includes several measures to enhance whitewater recreation near the project facilities along with the most important -- water in the river.
Pacificorp seems to be making the effort. They have improved river access, issued release dates, along with a host of potential release dates, updated the online gauges, kept in touch with the river running community. Whether it's carrot, stick or a picnic basket, Pacificorp is coming through with some recreational releases!
How about an 800 number for flow and release info?! Pacificorp at 1-800-547-1501 for flow information.
Other stick dodging or carrot loving enhancements include:
- Providing put-in and take-out facilities near the Grace and Oneida developments for use by whitewater recreationists;
- Providing additional water over the dam into Black Canyon when flood conditions result in at least 500 cfs spill over Grace dam;
- Beginning in 2008, providing scheduled releases of whitewater flows into Black Canyon during the spring and early summer of each year;
- Providing information from 3 river gages on a toll-free Flow Phone; and
- Providing information on river flows and scheduled whitewater releases on a website so that the public can better plan their recreational experience.
April 1 through July 15.
Is this opening date an omen for hopeful boaters? Get out your slide rules because nothing is for sure. All but four of the releases are dependent on Inflows. Those four days have a predicted release of 900 cfs. A respectable flow for the Black Canyon. But even those for days are carefully couched as Ramping Studies and not rec releases. Once you have a bear in a cage, it is a touch thing to let it out. Pacificorp is playing a close hand. Whitewater hunters are guaranteed to bag at least four Bear days in 2009.
Not a bad start. Mark your calenders for Potential Whitewater Release Days.
Starting April first, all Saturdays and Sundays are potentially available for
whitewater releases with the exception of the Memorial Day weekend.
When releases occur they will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.
Number of Whitewater Release Days
Within the whitewater boater season, whitewater flows will be released when scheduled or
available as inflow until a total of up to 16 days of whitewater releases have occurred or July 15 has passed.
Scheduled Release Days (4 days)
To facilitate a ramp rate (fish stranding) study, there will be four 900 cfs days during the 2009 whitewater season.
- April 12 900 cfs
- April 25 900 cfs
- May 31 900 cfs
- July 9 900 cfs
Inflow Dependent Days
(12 days maximum) – Pretty much every weekend from April 1 to july 15 except Memorial Day. These releases are dependent on inflow to the Grace Forebay being equal to, or greater than, 700 cfs2. Follow this website link to see forecasted flows below Grace Dam.