LADWP repairs will mean high-water flow in the Owens River

Inyo County news release

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will be performing emergency repair work on the Control Gorge Power Plant beginning June 26th, with a projected completion date of September 5th.

Water being released from the Crowley Reservoir will enter the Owens River at the Middle Gorge Power Plant and flow downstream through the Owens Gorge and into the Pleasant Valley Reservoir.

Inyo County residents and visitors can expect extremely high water flow in the Owens River below Middle Gorge Power Plant.

“Normal water flow rates are at 55 cubic feet per second, cfs. During this time period the flows could be as high as 500cfs. Once the higher flow rates have started they will remain at these elevated levels until the Control Gorge Power Plant is returned to operation in September,” stated Jon Crook, LADWP.

Last summer, due to the historic Sierra snowpack runoff, Inyo County officials cautioned residents and visitors not to float the Owens River because of extreme debris and fast-moving water. Inyo County Office of Emergency Services reminds residents and visitors that although Inyo County is not experiencing runoff conditions that are on par with last
summer, with the planned water flow increase calmer waterways such as Diaz Lake, Klondike Lake, and Millpond are safer alternatives to river-floating.

If you will be recreating near the Owens River officials recommend these safety tips:

  • DO NOT let children or pets in moving water and keep a close watch on children and pets – even if they are far from water; River banks can be compromised by extreme erosion – keep a safe distance from these areas;
  • Wear properly fitting personal flotation for all river activities;
  • Be aware and respectful of posted warning signs – these signs are there for your safety;
  • Stay on established trails or developed areas when you are near waterways; Keep updated on the conditions of your favorite waterways – river and stream condition information may be found at visitor centers and ranger stations; and fish with a
    partner.
  • Additional waterway safety tips include the following: Never enter waterways that are upstream from a waterfall; Avoid slippery rocks and logs near rivers and streams; Stay up to date on Inyo County weather conditions through National Weather Service, Las Vegas, NV.

Stay safe and stay informed Inyo County!

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David Dennison
David Dennison
4 years ago

Trouble,I have to agree with you there….nowdays,seems warnings,sometimes packed news conferences from “authorities” with just about everything outdoors,from fishing,camping,hiking,boating.Onto the weather,with high heat warnings,cold weather warnings….warnings when it’s windy.Warnings what to do if your camping and see an animal that happens to have teeth and claws.And in some cases, when… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
4 years ago

Should we wear a life jacket when we go to bed also?

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
4 years ago

500cfs is going to disrupt and devastate the Gorge and it will wash the resident population of fish out and no doubt result in a fish kill . Crowley (Long Valley Reservoir) spills at the elevation of 6781.5 feet and today the elevation of Crowley is at 6776′. No one… Read more »

Pedro
Pedro
4 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

P.A. Not a fishologist or riverologist, but seems the high flow could help the river. Rivers have varying flows naturally and get scoured from time to time. Wouldn’t be surprised if CF&W is in favor of this. Fish will be washed into Pleasant Valley Reservoir and work out who eats… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
4 years ago
Reply to  Pedro

@Pedro, 500cfs is more disruptive than 250 . Certainly there have been spring runoffs probably greater than 500 cfs in the Gorge before the construction of the Long Valley Dam, but those did not last for 2 1/2 months. There will be an impact. While I would agree that the… Read more »