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Runoff Prospects for South Fork 2011

Palisades Dam at 18,442 c.f.s.

Heading into Runoff season, The South Fork of the Snake River is shaping up to withstand the    onslought of water in recent weeks. The Palisades Reservoir, which of course fuels the Snake, is at a historic low for this time of year at 12% full. Flows entering the reservoir are at 18,442 cfs today and the outflows at Palisades Dam are identicle. For many, this year mirrors 1997 when the outflows reached their all time highs of 43,500 cfs since creation of the dam in Nov. of 1956. Not the case as the reservoir was a shocking 78% full at the nexxus of the runoff in 1997. Call it learning from mistakes, but river flows on the South Fork have subsided from their peak may 9th of 20,000 cfs. and all indications are that although the incoming water may dictate a little rise in flows, they will be manageable, allow for proper filling of Palisades Reservoir and level out paving the way for a seamless flow come early June. Runoff is always a concern for the South Fork, this year perhaps a bit more acute. The saving grace is the outstanding management of the lake which should ensure another full and glorious season for The Lodge at Palisades Creek.

Chris Heib