TCID: Lahontan Reservoir full, but no flooding is expected

Kim Lamb/LVN photo

Kim Lamb/LVN photo

FALLON - After another wet winter and spring runoff, Lahontan Reservoir is almost filled to capacity.

The reservoir's level was listed at 312,690 acre-feet Wednesday on the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District's Web site.

Ernie Schank, TCID board president, said on Tuesday afternoon the level was at 4,163.66 feet above sea level, a measurement recognized by the Bureau of Reclamation and just slightly under the bureau's official capacity for th e reservoir.

"We're making sure we don't go over 4,163.67. Anything above that is a spill," said Dave Overvold, TCID project manager, on Wednesday morning.

What looks like water spilling over the boards at Lahontan is due to wind pushing water from the surface of the lake over the flashboards, he said.

The inflow in Lahontan was 1,890 cubic feet per second Tuesday morning and the outflow was increased from 1,420 cfs to 1,680 cfs. Overvold attributed the difference between inflows and outflows to the evaporation rate.

The outflow water is being sent to Sheckler Reservoir, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at Stillwater Wildlife Refuge and down the Carson River.

Overvold said there is a lot of room in Sheckler Reservoir still and he predicts the inflow, measured at Fort Churchill upstream on the Carson River, to drop off in the next 10 days.

He said the irrigation district is striving to keep the lake level until there is a measurable drop in inflows. Then they will bring the lake to the top and only release water for irrigation demands.

Schank said he doesn't foresee any flooding problems and said sites upstream show the snowpack, which feeds the Carson River, is gone and has been gone for two weeks.


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