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Carson Lake water levels to affect waterfowl season


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By: Nevada Department of Wildlife

August 2, 2008 - The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) is advising waterfowl hunters that below normal water supplies experienced this summer will negatively impact wetland habitat conditions and waterfowl hunting opportunities at the Carson Lake and Pasture this fall.

A variety of factors, including a below normal snowpack and the mid-winter rupture of the Truckee Canal near Fernley, has resulted in below normal water supplies for the Lahontan Valley. Earlier this summer, the Truckee Carson Irrigation District (TCID) announced that water users in the Valley would receive 75% of the normal water allocation and that water deliveries would be ceased during the month of September due to extremely low water levels in Lahontan Reservoir. As a result of the 75% allocation from TCID, NDOW will receive approximately 5,190 acre feet (AF) of its total prime water right of 7,108 acre feet of water. The decreased irrigation activity throughout the Valley will also result in decreased flows of drain and return water flows that typically provide a significant amount of water for the wetland complex. The one bright spot that should be noted is that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has generously agreed to provide 750 AF of their prime water for use at Carson Lake – thereby increasing the total delivery of prime water to the wetland complex to 5,940 acre feet.

Due to the cessation of water deliveries in September, NDOW will be requesting delivery of 3,540 acre feet of water to the Sprig Ponds Unit in August and will request the delivery of the remaining 2,400 acre feet to the Rice and York units in early October when deliveries resume. NDOW would prefer to receive the larger amount of water in October; however, TCID is limited on the amount of water it can deliver in a given time period due to the need to meet other demands for irrigation water.

Pat Kelly, Wildlife Management Area supervisor, said it appears that only the Sprig Pond Unit will have water for the youth waterfowl hunt day and the regular opening day of duck season. "It's too bad. Unless we get some unusual levels of precipitation in the early fall, we are looking at less than good wetland conditions this fall."

Hunters are encouraged to seek information on wetland conditions prior to venturing to the Carson Lake area as well as other wetlands in this region by contacting NDOW at (775) 463-2741.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW's wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen's license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information, visit www.ndow.org.

 

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