Restoration Flows resume after dry summer

After one of the driest summers on record, the Restoration Administrator for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program has scheduled resumption of San Joaquin River Restoration Flows. Starting November 22, releases from Friant Dam will increase and gradually result in higher flows downstream of Gravelly Ford. Many sections of the San Joaquin River are currently dry and will become rewetted and flowing over the next few weeks to months.

After months of low flows due to drought, it may be tempting to underestimate the power of the river and the effects of cold water. The public is encouraged to monitor flow conditions if recreating on or near the San Joaquin River as releases from Friant Dam and storm runoff may raise river levels quickly. Please use caution.

Friant Dam releases of 230 to 300 cfs over the summer have maintained Chinook salmon habitat and spawning conditions in the section of river between Friant Dam and Highway 99. Fisheries scientists have so far found 32 redds (fish nests with eggs) below Friant Dam and juvenile salmon fry have just begun to emerge from those redds. 2021 marks the sixth consecutive year of successful salmon spawning below Friant Dam.

The Restoration Flow schedule has now been changed to the following:

Date Friant Dam Releases Restoration Flows at Gravelly Ford
November 24 – November 28 230 – 330 cfs 100 cfs
November 29 – December 3 330 – 450 cfs 200 cfs
December 4 – December 8 430 – 470 cfs 300 cfs
December 9 – January 6 600 cfs 380 – 500 cfs
January 7 – January 12 500 cfs decreasing to 350 cfs 400 cfs decreasing to 200 cfs
January 13 – January 31 300 – 360 cfs 200 cfs
February 1 – February 13 310 – 370 cfs 210 cfs
February 14 – February 28 A series of pulses will be released from Friant Dam, with flows around 350 cfs and temporarily as high as 1800 cfs for short periods 190 – 600 cfs

For Information about Restoration Flows, please visit http://www.restoresjr.net/restoration-goal/restoration-flows/.

For the Restoration Administrator recommendations, please visit http://www.restoresjr.net/documentsreports/ra-recommendations/

For additional information about the San Joaquin River Restoration Program, please visit http://www.restoresjr.net or contact Josh Newcom, Public Affairs Specialist, at 916-978-5508 or snewcom@usbr.gov.

View drone footage of a dry Reach 2B here:

See time-lapse of the river reconnecting in Reach 2B: