High Water Levels Pose Threat to Snake River Recreation

Idaho Power recently warned residents that high-water levels on the Snake River may create dangerous conditions for those in and around the area.


In a press release, Idaho Power detailed the cause of these high-water levels; carryover from 2017’s heavy winter snowpack has caused an above-average snowpack level for 2018, prompting releases from dams in the Upper Snake Reservoir system. This release has created above-average flows (7,400 cubic feet per second near Milner Dam, which is generally at 1,500 cubic feet per second at this time of year), prompting warnings for those along the river practicing recreation activities.

Duck hunters, for example, should proceed with caution; the high and fast water movement can be dangerous for those in and around the river. If you are planning a water-related recreational trip along this part of the Snake River, proceed with caution or change your location. Children should be kept away from storm drains, culverts, creeks, and streams, as the water levels can rise rapidly and unexpectedly.


Additionally, a Pacific storm—which has since exited the region—has brought warm temperatures and record-breaking rainfall to the area, adding additional water to the already-high river. Banks have overflowed between McCammon and Lava Hot Springs, though more flooding is possible. Several sections of the Snake River are currently under flood watch.


The Snake River area is among only a few in the state with above-average snowpack levels. Elsewhere, snowpack levels are significantly below average, causing concern for stream and river wellbeing.


Read more about this topic at Idaho State Journal.