Weber Releases Get Green Light For This Summer! (UT)
On Friday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave the green light for recreational releases to begin on Utah’s Weber River this summer! The move came when the agency approved the Whitewater Boating Plan, which was a critical step prior to the flow restoration called for in the new license for the Weber Hydroelectric Project. American Whitewater recently requested that FERC expedite approval of the plan so the public could enjoy the Weber River this year and we are delighted that they did so!
With the plan now accepted, American Whitewater will quickly work with the power company to analyze flow forecasts and schedule the four negotiated Saturday releases between late May and mid-July. We will announce release dates as soon as possible, within 1-2 weeks.
The Scrambled Eggs section of the Weber is a 1.8-mile long roadside run south of Ogden, Utah. It offers Class III-IV- whitewater at low to moderate flows. River recreation in this area is severely impacted on many rivers by dams and diversions, making releases on the Weber all the more significant.
The power company normally diverts up to 350 cfs from the Scrambled Eggs section of the river to generate power with, but on release days will cease doing so and allow inflows to flow down the river. In many summers, including likely this summer, the flow above and below the hydropower diversion is around 350 cfs due to irrigation water deliveries from upstream reservoirs. Thus, paddlers can expect flows during the releases this summer to be around 350 cfs in the Scrambled Eggs reach. If more water is available this year or in the future, the restoration of 350 cfs to the river will combine with river flows to result in higher flows during releases.
American Whitewater has spent the past seven years negotiating these releases. We hope paddlers enjoy them this year and in the future! Expect more details in the coming days.