Thurmond Lake Release – November 19

FRIENDS OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER BASIN

NOVEMBER 19, 2012 UPDATE

WEATHER AND LAKE STATUS

Todd Hammill (NOAA) reported that November will continue to be relatively dry (as was October).  He is predicting that December will show “not below average precipitation”, but the averages for Dec, Jan and Feb combined show “above average precipitation”.  Those of you that saw Todd at one of the Drought Meetings know that he is “cautious” when forecasting.  He said it definitely looks better and may allow for some recharge, but followed it with “Don’t Cheer too loud, but right now it’s looking good for recharge,”   So far March through May is not leaning one way or another.

Stan Simpson reported that Lake Thurmond is very close to 315ft-msl which strongly affects the management of the lakes (current elevation is Hartwell 645.52 ft-msl and Thurmond 315.06 ft-msl).  Once Thurmond gets to 315 ft-msl, then the lakes are managed differently.  Until 315ft-msl, they are balanced on a foot per foot basis, but after that point, they are managed dependent on the percent of depth left in the their conservation pools.  So Hartwell will go down about three feet while Thurmond will level off and go down around a third of a foot in the next ten weeks.

Stan has received some phone calls from users below the dam about the low flows.  In particular, the City of Augusta has had to reduce their outflows meaning the shoals are not getting the water they like for fish and wildlife.  We pointed out that it did rain quite a bit last recently, they are reporting up to three inches in the shoals area, and that might have helped that situation. Beaufort-Jasper reported no problems with the low flows and GA Pacific have indicated they have requested permits to put in temporary pumps.

Some of you may have noticed some discrepancies in the readings between the Savannah River Management Home page value for Thurmond and the Plum Branch Lake buoy about 5 days ago.  There were some issues with the home page gauge.  That reading is now be correct but there are some issues with the buoy automated data collection.

The Phase 2 Comp Study is still not moving, still waiting on approval to get The Nature Conservancy involved and some problem with work-in-kind value.  There are some important meetings this week and we will keep you informed.

HARTWELL AND RUSSELL VISITOR CENTER HOURS (CORPS PRESS RELEASE)

For Immediate Release:

November 16, 2012

News Release No. 12- 58

Hartwell, Russell Lake visitor centers to close on weekends during winter months

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District will begin seasonal weekend closures at the visitor centers at Hartwell Dam and Lake and Richard B. Russell Dam and Lake

The J. Strom Thurmond Dam and Lake visitors center will remain open on weekends during the winter months.

All visitor centers are closed on federal holidays.

The weekend closures are a result of declining winter visitation numbers at the lakes. Weekend operation of the visitor centers will resume on March 2, 2013., Nov. 24 through Feb. 24. The visitor centers will remain open during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For Immediate Release:

HARTWELL DAM QUARRY HUNTING AREA (CORPS PRESS RELEASE) 

For Immediate Release:

November 16, 2012

News Release No. 12- 57

Hartwell Dam Quarry Hunting Area to close temporarily to the public Nov. 26 – 30

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Arm y Corps of Engineers (USACE) Savannah District will temporary close the Hartwell Dam Quarry Hunting Area, located on the Georgia side of Hartwell Lake near the intersection of highways 181 and 29, from Nov. 26 through Nov. 30. During this time, the 410-acre hunting area will be closed to the general public due to a deer hunt hosted by the Hartwell Project Office and the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

All other Corps-managed recreation areas designated for archery and small game hunting for the 2012-2013 hunting season in South Carolina and Georgia will remain open to the public.

For additional information regarding the temporary closing of the Hartwell Dam Quarry Hunting Area or for general questions on Hartwell Lake, contact the Hartwell Operations Manager’s Office toll free at 1-888-893-0678 or visit the Hartwell Lake website at:http://www.sas.usace.army.mil/lakes/hartwell/

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Next 5-Day Precipitation Forecast

– Barb and Harry Shelley

Friends of the Savannah River Basin

 

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