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White River barrier dam near Buckley in for repairs

In order to implement needed repairs to the barrier dam at Buckley and complete testing of the upgraded and refurbished fish screens, Cascade Water Alliance will be altering the level of Lake Tapps during the next two months. Residents can expect to see lake levels drop approximately two feet during the next few weeks.

Then, beginning in late March, lake levels will rise quickly – four to five feet by early- to mid-April. Full recreational levels are expected on or before April 15.

Cascade Water Alliance, in coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers, state and federal fishery agencies and the Muckleshoot and Puyallup tribes, began making repairs to the barrier dam in late February. Flashboard sections washed out during the winter must be replaced in anticipation of upstream fish migration.  In addition to the normal coho, Chinook, steelhead and bull trout migration, 2011 will see the return of pink salmon in numbers expected to match or exceed the more than 500,000 fish in 2009. The integrity of the barrier dam is critical to the operation of the fish trap and haul facility.

Following repair of the barrier dam, Cascade will open the headgates and divert water into the flume for the first time since late August 2010. Sediment removal, flume and other repairs and refurbishment of the fish screens will be complete. The improvements to the fish screens will be tested at high diversion rates which will result in Lake Levels increasing rapidly.

Weekly updates, or more often if necessary, are available on the Cascade website, www.cascadewater.org.

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