Brownlee Reservoir Update
As of Dec. 5, Brownlee Reservoir is at 2,068 feet, which is 9 feet under the reservoir's full pool level of 2,077. This level allows access to all parks on the reservoir. For current reservoir elevation information, check the Idaho Power website.
A health advisory has been issued for Brownlee Reservoir due to a harmful algae bloom caused by high levels of toxic algae, also known as cyanobacteria. Please use caution in or near the water. See the Southwest District Health Department's advisory for additional information and resources.
Snake River Quagga Mussel
September 2023 - The ISDA has confirmed the presence of quagga mussel in the Mid-Snake River. These findings mark the first time a rapid response plan has been put into action for quagga mussels in Idaho.
Closures are in place in and along the Snake River until further notice as the investigation in the area continues.
For more information, visit Idaho Power's website.
ODFW Electronic Licensing System
ODFW's electronic licensing system allows hunters and anglers to carry their documents electronically on their smart phone or tablet and tag fish and wildlife with a mobile app that will even work off-line. An FAQ about the system is available at the ODFW website.
Snow Pack Information
As of Dec. 5, the Schneider Meadows SnoTel site, elevation 5400 feet, is reporting a snow depth of 12".
Check the recent weather and snow pack reports from Schneider Meadows SnoTel site and the Sparta Butte RAWS site for updates. More information is also available from the Wallowa Avalanche Center. The WWNF also has snowmobile trail maps and condition reports available on their website.
Branch Library Hours
Idaho Power Campgrounds
Camping fees at Idaho Power parks in Hells Canyon range from $10 for a tent space to $16 for an RV space. Discounts are available for campers over 60 and active duty military and veterans, but only if paying by credit card in advance or at the park. Discounts are not available for cash payments. For a full rate schedule, maps, and other park information, visit the Parks link at the Idaho Power website.
In-season campsite reservations may be made on-line as much as nine months in advance. There is a fee for reserving on-line, and reservations may be made for visits scheduled between the first Friday in April through the last Sunday in October. A phone reservation option is also available for $15; call 1-844-472-7275.
Smaller overnight campsites are not included in the reservation system. In Hells Canyon, Carter's Landing and Moonshine Mine remain available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Visit the Idaho Power recreation updates page for the most current information.
Oxbow Fish Hatchery Closed
Idaho Power's Oxbow Fish Hatchery in Hells Canyon is closed to the public while an extensive remodel and expansion of the hatchery is underway. The renovation is expected to be completed and the hatchery re-opened by the end of 2024.
Kirkwood Creek Bridge Closure
The bridge located at the Kirkwood Historic Ranch about 5.5 miles south of the National Recreation Trail #102 trailhead at Upper Pittsburg Landing is closed. A new bridge is in process, but has yet to be finished and open.
An alternative crossing for hikers may be available at the footbridge near the mouth of the creek, approximately 300 feet downstream of the closed bridge. This is a small bridge, not suitable for stock use, and high water flows during the spring may submerge the deck at times.
For more information, contact the Forest Service offices in Joseph (541-426-5546) or Riggins (208-628-3916), or visit the website.
If you are going to spend time on the water, the Baker County Sheriff's Office would like to remind boat operators and passengers to pack extra supplies and be prepared for water-related outings. Weather can change drastically in a matter of hours, and water rescues are especially dangerous at night due to decreased visibility and often high winds on the reservoir.
Be sure to make friends and family members aware of your plans, including departure times and specific travel routes or destinations. This will significantly decrease rescue time if something happens. Plan ahead, be prepared, and enjoy your boating activities.
Idaho DEQ has issued a health advisory for waters near the Big Bar camping area on Hells Canyon Reservoir and the Woodhead Park area in Brownlee Reservoir. Recent samples indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, commonly known as a toxic algae bloom, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Visitors are urged to use caution when recreating in or near the reservoirs: avoid swimming, wading, or other activities. Keep children, pets, and livestock from the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water can actually increase risk. Wash hands thoroughly after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Any fish caught should be cleaned and washed thoroughly in uncontaminated water, and any internal organs disposed of before consumption. For more information, visit the Idaho SW District Health website.