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Posted 11/16/2018

Release no. 18-116

Tom Conning

PORTLAND, Ore. – Due to low water levels in many Corps reservoirs in the Willamette Valley, officials are warning reservoir users of potential hazards.

The low levels, a result of low precipitation this fall, are exposing soft, muddy areas of lakebed, which could pose a danger to users.

Due to these potential hazards, Corps officials request that reservoir users avoid these areas for their own safety. 

Ensuring public safety is a priority for the Corps.

The Corps will temporarily close areas when necessary to address safety concerns. Cottage Grove’s Lakeside boat ramp will have limited access Nov. 16-18 and will close, Nov. 19. Other reservoirs with potentially hazardous lakebeds include Green Peter, Hills Creek, Lookout Point, Cottage Grove and Fall Creek. Closures will remain in effect until water levels return to normal.

The National Weather Service predicts precipitation in the coming weeks, which may allow for better access to Corps reservoirs this winter.

The Willamette Valley consists of 13 Corps-operated dams and reservoirs that work as a system to provide flood risk management, recreation, water quality and supply, and more to the region. Many factors impact water levels in the Willamette Valley's lakes and reservoirs throughout the summer and fall, including the Willamette Biological Opinion – which focuses on meeting target flows for fish downstream. Lack of inflows to those water bodies is another factor on which hydrologists base release decisions.

For additional information or questions regarding water levels, call the Willamette Valley Project ranger staff at 541-942-5631.

Hazards reservoir safety water levels willamette valley