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Friday, January 12, 2018

Army Corps announces Francis E. Walter Dam water release schedule

The U.S. Army Corps Engineers’ Philadelphia District released the Flow Management Plan for the Francis E.Walter Dam in White Haven, PA.  
The Francis E. Walter Dam was constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1961 and has prevented more than $212 million in flood damages. It also supports recreation in the Lehigh Valley with planned fishing and whitewater rafting water releases.
The Francis E. Walter Dam
The multi-year plan is based upon past program performance as well as input received through stakeholders. In 2018, water will again be allocated to ensure whitewater releases from July to late August and fisheries releases from July to early September. Seasonal precipitation and water accumulation will be used for releases later in the season (late August through mid-October).
In 2018, planned dates (22) for fishing releases (target 400 cubic feet per second)* are:
  •  March:   3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31   
  •  April:     1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
  •  May:      5, 6, 13, 20
  •  October:  as provided by end of year release around the weekend of 6-7 October
* Release will be set to match inflow with a target release up to 400 cfs.  Inflow will not be augmented by use of storage to satisfy the 400 cfs target.

In 2018, planned dates (24) for whitewater releases are listed below. All other dates during the recreation season, until the weekend of October 6-7 have a planned fisheries augmentation release of at least 50 cubic feet per second if sufficient water is available.

  • May:             12, 19, 26, 27
  • June:             9, 10, 23, 24
  • July:              7, 8, 21, 22, 28, 29
  • August:         4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25*, 26*
  • September:    1*, 2*
  • October: as provided by end of year releases around the weekend of 6-7 October
*Releases will depend on seasonal precipitation and water accumulation.

**The 6-7 October weekend release is intended to provide a means of releasing any excess water that may have accumulated during the recreation season.  This is the last added increment for the 2018 recreation plan.  Fisheries releases through the season will be accommodated before the final weekend (6-7 October) release will be considered.
In 2018, the Army Corps will hold a total of 22 fishing releases and 24 whitewater release dates (four of which are dependent on additional precipitation along with fisheries enhancement releases on all other days during the recreation season). All dates are dependent on hydrologic conditions and the absence of the need for flood control operations. View plan details, including 2019 and 2020 fishing release and whitewater release dates, here. 

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