Snake River Water Just About Gone

Published online: Oct 01, 2003
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At the start of a new water year, Idaho irrigators hope things will be better come the 2004 irrigation season.

As of September 30, the Snake River system had a bare 10.7 percent of its storage system remaining. A few growers had saved late water for harvest. Others for various reasons, had to dig dry fields.

Statistics from the District show Jackson Lake at 16 percent of capacity, Palisades with only 75,103 of 1,200,000 acre-feet or 6 percent, Island Park at 10 percent, and American Falls at 2 percent.

The entire Upper Snake River system has had little to no rain this summer and early fall, with a few exceptions. Irrigators will be entering the 2004 irrigation season with a lot of worry and hopes for better snow pack.

Lake Walcott at Rupert, which is usually full for heavy irrigation use from that point down to the Twin Falls area, stood at 53 percent.

River and stream flow in some areas is very low. Some fish salvage operations are beginning in an effort to help save fisheries by seining and relocating fish from stretches of river nearly dry to areas that have more water.