Water being released from overflowing Millerton Lake

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019
Water being released from overflowing Millerton Lake
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Millerton Lake is at 100 percent capacity, and officials are now releasing some water over the Friant Dam spillway.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Millerton Lake is at full capacity giving the Bureau of Reclamation the perfect opportunity to test their spillway gates at the top of Friant Dam.

However, that means the San Joaquin River is still high and fast-moving.

While it's great to see, it has prevented kayaking tours from starting up at the San Joaquin River Parkway Trust and Conservation.

"The negative impact is that we are not getting as many people out to experience the San Joaquin because it's such a beautiful environment and we love to take people out," said Executive Director San Joaquin River Parkway & Conservation, Sharon Weaver.

On Tuesday morning the Bureau of Reclamation released more water from Friant Dam into the river over their spillways. Mainly because the lake was full, and it gave them a chance to test their gates.

Officials say it's important to test their equipment when they can.

By Tuesday late morning testing was already done.

However, they are still releasing water from the base of the dam into San Joaquin River to keep up with the inflow.

They plan on releasing around 1000 CFS, which is still too much for the parkway trust to conduct tours.

"When we do our downriver tours, we want the river flow to be below 700 cubic feet per second. So right now it's still a little too high for our public river tours," said Weaver. "We will probably start those in the next couple weeks and we just look every day to see what the river release is to decide whether or not it's going to be safe to offer tours."

But if you really are itching to learn to kayak or canoe, they are still offering rentals.

"Right now what we are doing is just offering canoe and kayak rentals at a property that's called Sycamore Island, and that's a place where people can canoe on an inland pond, so that is an area we feel is a safe place for beginners," said Weaver.

Up at Lost Lake even though the river is moving, you are allowed to swim but with caution.