Fly fishermen hoping to fish the fabled McCloud River over the upcoming season opener (Saturday, April 30) will be disappointed to learn:
PG&E is observing rapidly increasing inflows into McCloud Reservoir and anticipates that McCloud Dam will begin to spill earlier than previously forecasted. The reservoir has increased approximately 4.7 feet in the past 72 hours and continues a rapid ascent. PG&E has taken careful steps to manage the increasing inflow into McCloud Reservoir by monitoring reservoir level, maintaining a low water surface elevation in Iron Canyon Reservoir, and diverting water through James B. Black Powerhouse to maintain the maximum amount of storage capacity. Despite these efforts, deep snow pack and increasing spring snowmelt means that the capacity of the McCloud Reservoir will fill and water will spill over the dam spillway.
Based on the current increasing inflow conditions into McCloud Reservoir, PG&E anticipated that McCloud Dam will begin spilling on Wednesday evening/Thursday morning (April 27 / 28, 2011). At this time PG&E is unable to accurately provide an estimate of the anticipated spill magnitude, as inflow to the reservoir continues to increase hourly. However, based on inflow trends as of this notification, initial spill flow from McCloud Dam may be approximately 500 to 600 cubic feet per second with regular increases likely until inflows subside.
Given California’s record snowpack, this kind of notice will be common during the early part of this season.