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Council steers away from Trinity water shift
By John Driscoll The Times-Standard

A group of agencies and stakeholders that advise the federal government on restoring the Trinity River have recommended against trimming big flows in the spring to send water down the Klamath River this fall.

Last week, the Trinity Management Council told the U.S. Interior Department there should be no boost in fall flows, especially if it were to come from water meant to restore the Trinity.

"The bottom line is it looks very similar to a normal year," said Doug Schleusner, who runs the Trinity River Restoration Program.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had asked the council to consider a change in operations to send cold water to stave off a potential fish kill in the lower Klamath, a river expected to be low and hot due to drought conditions this year.

But concerns were voiced that a slug of cold water in the early fall could draw fish into the river before conditions are hospitable. Also, shifting water away from the Trinity restoration would further delay that effort.

One change recommended is to shift peak flows from a high of 6,000 cubic feet per second for five days to a high of 7,000 cfs for four days at some point in mid-May. No flow schedule is being released until Interior adopts a plan. Schleusner said he hopes to begin ramping up flows by Friday.

Reclamation spokesman Jeff McCracken said Interior is expected to make a decision by Wednesday.






Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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