News Releases

Corps expects lower Rogue water levels this summer

Published May 31, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reservoir regulators expect that water levels at Corps reservoirs in the Rogue River Basin will be lower this summer than the past few years, and the Corps will probably release less water into the Rogue and Applegate rivers.

“The Natural Resource Conservation Service water supply forecast indicates only about 75 percent of the average amount of water will run off into Lost Creek Reservoir this summer – almost 200,000 acre-feet of water less than in 2012,” said Jim Buck, operations manager for the Corps’s Rogue River Basin Project, which manages Applegate and Jess dams.

Buck said that runoff into Applegate Lake is expected to be about 68 percent of average, or 30,000 acre-feet less than 2012.

Dry conditions in the Rogue Basin this winter and spring are to blame.  Precipitation in the months of January through May, when the Corps refills its reservoirs for the summer conservation season, was only about 59 percent of average, and the basin’s snowpack melted off much faster than usual this winter.

Despite the dry conditions, the Corps has enough water to meet Jess and Applegate dams’ authorized purposes.

“All of our popular boat ramps should be useable through Labor Day weekend, and we should be able to meet the State of Oregon’s recommended flows and temperatures which support salmon and steelhead lifecycles, as well as supply water for irrigation, municipal and industrial uses,” Buck said.

Details of the Corps’ 2013 Rogue Basin water management plan are available at

William L. Jess and Applegate dams contribute to a water resource management system that provides flood damage reduction, fish and wildlife enhancement, irrigation, municipal and industrial water supply, power generation, water quality improvement and recreation on the Rogue and Applegate rivers.  For more information, visit

Scott Clemans

Release no. 13-033

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