NYSSA — An apparent combination of low snow melt with warmer temperatures and recent rain has bumped the flows in area rivers, including the lower Owyhee River as irrigation district officials have started small releases from the reservoir.
According to data posted on the Bureau of Reclamation website, flows on the upper Owyhee River, as measured at Rome, soared from about 400 cubic feet per second at midnight Monday to more than 1,200 for several hours in the afternoon.
This morning the flow was still over 1,100 cfs. in the reservoir was more than 502,000 acre feet.
According the National Weather Service the Ontario area has received two-thirds of an inch of rain in the past three or four days and the amount of rain received is a little above normal for the month of January.
While the initial flow from Owyhee Reservoir was through a jet flow valve in the dam, Jay Chamberlain, manager of the Owyhee Irrigation District, said the operators would start up the hydro power plant at the food of the dam Wednesday and would spill about 100 to 125 cfs down the fiver.
“I like it,” Chamberlin said, of the state of the runoff. “It’s a pretty good bump.”
Based up on readings from automatic recording sites, Chamberlin said it appears that the snow up in the watershed is pretty well spread out.