Just wanted to give you an update on lake levels
Is This the High?
The elevation of Bear Lake is currently at 5914.1 ft. (UP&L datum) and, as of May 23rd, the Outlet canal at Paris Dike has been open so most of the Bear River water has been bypassing Bear Lake and flowing on downstream.
Given how things looked at the end of January, we were extremely lucky - a 1 in 50 chance - that the Bear River Basin would get to "above average" snowpack. After an unbelievable February and March (water wise) it was hoped that the lake would get up to 5915 or even 5915.5 ft.
What kind of year was 2014 for filling Bear Lake?
It only came up 1.8 ft. - probably on the list of the 25 worst years. That follows 2012 at 1.67 ft and 2013 at 1.70 ft. Looks like we're still in a prolonged drought to my untrained eye!
The good news is there is still about 100 cfs flowing into the lake. The bad news is there is very little snowpack left to melt off and the stream flows have mostly peaked. Another piece of good news is what little snowpack is left is in the Logan River drainage so that prolonged high flow will help satisfy the water right of Bear River Canal Co., the largest right on the river and also the largest user of Bear Lake storage water. That will help decrease the demand on Bear Lake water.
What's it all mean?
Pumping will probably start soon and the current lake elevation (5914.10 ft.) is probably the high for the year!
In a normal year, the lake level fluctuates 3 ½ to 4 ½ feet, so the low this fall could easily be 5910 ft.
Thank goodness for the record amount of water Bear Lake received in 2011!
Thanks for caring about Bear Lake,