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Water is on the move

EASTERN IDAHO (KIFI) - Some of the water levels on lakes and reservoirs are rapidly decreasing while most rivers are increasing.

Some officials are asking boaters to take precaution on lakes since they are getting dangerously low.

The American Falls reservoirs are both seeing some of the lowest levels on their lakes not seen for many years.

Officials are draining Jackson Lake by about four inches of water per day. This is raising the rivers such as the Snake River to levels higher than average. Boaters on the rivers are asked to take precaution as well here due to a much swifter current that will result from the higher waters.

The drought and salmon are the two main reasons for this large variance. All of Idaho is currently under either a slight, moderate or extreme drought. Farmers are struggling to get the additional necessary water supply delivered to their crops. Jackson Lake contains the additional storage of water for those in the Upper Snake River Plain. So, officials are draining the lake to meet the increasing water demand.

The salmon also need help. Unfortunately, the record heat has heated up the rivers to temperatures much above normal. Salmon migrate up the river to help get to much cooler waters during this time. The hot waters aren't making this trip very easy for them. The hope is for much cooler waters from further upstream to be released downstream to help the fish carry on with their migration.

This is just the beginning too. The bureau of reclamation states that they will continue draining until mid August for the Palisades and mid September for Jackson Lake. They are projecting those two lakes and the American Falls Reservoir to go down to 10% full by that time. The Snake River is projected to be high during this entire time.

Idaho Falls / Local News / News
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Evan Thomason

Evan is the weekend meteorologist and reporter.


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