OWENS RIVER GORGE ALERT!


Original Post
MisterE Wolfe · · Bishop, CA · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,240

Talked to a 30-year veteran engineer for DWP today, and he said, starting tomorrow, the utility is going to open the main valve from the Crowley Lake Dam ALL THE WAY for the initial drain - something that has never been done..

This will release up to 750+ CFS of water into the Owens River Gorge.

The dam is filled to the limit, and due to issues in various utility plants, they have been unable to release the necessary water until everything was ready.

THAT CHANGES TOMORROW!

He stated additionally that they will be DAY releases, not night releases.

Climbers are advised to use caution in the coming weeks, and avoid the east-side crags that access during high water may be an issue.

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

Finally.... they are going to pull the flush lever.

Mr. E this has been in the works for about 6 mo now right?

It will really help the fishing....

Please get some shots and post.

Amart · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Mr.E, do you think the gorge will still be climbable?

MisterE Wolfe · · Bishop, CA · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,240

We were given some mis-information from the engineer - kind of a dick move, actually.

Bob Harrington stated this on another thread:

I talked with DWP this morning. They are planning on releasing up to 400 cfs below the Middle Gorge Power Plant starting between March 2nd and 5th. They are preparing a press release, so look for that. Not sure whether there will be public access or not, and not sure how long they will maintain the high flows. For context, the steady flows of the past couple of decades have been around 36 cfs.

I posted something a couple of months ago about the flows hey would be releasing to improve habitat as part of an agreement with DFW. This is different, they are trying to make room in Crowley for the runoff they are expecting this spring.


Sorry for the bad beta, but we passed on what we heard in good faith & with concern for ORG climbers.

JaredG · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

Any updates on when this is happening? And would it prevent climbing? I was thinking about making my first trip to ORG next weekend and I don't want to get flooded out.

MisterE Wolfe · · Bishop, CA · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 1,240

Update as of yesterday from Bob Harrington:

LADWP will be ramping up releases from Crowley over the next several days reaching a peak of about 450 cfs, but this will be in the river channel below the Middle Gorge Power Plant only (below Penstock Rock). Above Middle Gorge Power Plant, the elevated releases will be contained in the penstock system (the big pipes) and flows in the river channel will be roughly to what we are accustomed to as 'normal'.

Below the Middle Gorge Plant, the river will be high, fast, and dangerous. There are no public access restrictions that I know of, but obviously be careful if you are down that way and pay attention to any posted warnings.

csproul · · Davis, CA · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 25

Gorge conditions for the weekend?

JaredG · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Aug 2011 · Points: 0

My buddy ended up going last Saturday and most of the climbing is easily accessible. The high water flows are only in the lower gorge. There's a supertopo thread with some more info.

boxdoc Bennett · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 10

Coming to the gorge for Mothers Day weekend. Anyone know the status of the trails/climbing? Water releases planned?

reese lieberman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0
boxdoc Bennett wrote:

Coming to the gorge for Mothers Day weekend. Anyone know the status of the trails/climbing? Water releases planned?

reese lieberman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

was there in march. was fine

Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/2974654/Owens-Gorge-Preparing-for-Flood-a-gedeon

Well looking at this ......   the climbing at the PUB and downriver stuff.... is sort of closed. 

its a day to day thing, 3 weeks ago I was climbing down there and the water was running normal....

old5ten · · Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 943

climbed at warning signs on sat 5/13/17 in the evening.  pretty cool, only one other party in the lower gorge at that time and they left before us.  no access, flood, or other issues.  just a good way to finish a day of skiing... ;-)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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