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Annual Water Releases Commence At New Melones

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Sonora, CA — The Bureau of Reclamation warns that the water will be moving swifter along the lower portions of the Stanislaus River.

The BOR reports that the annual increased flow releases are underway at New Melones Reservoir. They are done this time of year with a stated desire to improve the health of the Delta and its habitat.

It is unclear how long the increased pulse flows will last. They started yesterday and the BOR only says they will last for an “extended duration.” The increased flow equates to about 1,500 cubic feet per second.

The BOR warns, “Increased river flow can create hazardous conditions including higher water levels, fast currents, colder water, and potential entrapment. Portions of the lower Stanislaus River have limited cell phone coverage and hazardous terrain that can delay rescue efforts. Recreationists and visitors should take safety precautions when near or on the lower Stanislaus River during these increased flows.”

The increased pulse flows come as California is in the midst of a drought. The Department of Water Resources reports that New Melones is currently at 55-percent of capacity and 87-percent of its historical average for the date.