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Old 03-07-2017, 01:20 PM   #1
fisher guy
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Default Brownlee water level

I have been watching the camera at hewitt park and they have dropped the level of the water way down. I don't recall the level going down this far in the past. I understand they are preparing for a heavy snow run off but i can't seem to find a link on when they forecast to start stabilizing the level and refilling. Does anyone have a link for the next 30 day forecast?

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Old 03-08-2017, 07:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Brownlee Res. is controlled by Idaho power, water levels vary greatly, depending on available water, power needs, & Salmon water needs down stream, they also recently agreed to keep the water level stable for the Crappie spawn usually in May, with plenty of available water this year, I expect the reservoir to be kept low thru April, & full by the end of May.
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Old 03-10-2017, 08:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

I have never fished Brownlee and always wanted to so I am planning on making a trip this spring. Whats the best thing to look for over there as far as temps and water level? Whats the best month? Haven't done much crappie fishing but I know they eat good. Im thinking I'll stay around Richland. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-11-2017, 09:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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I have never fished Brownlee and always wanted to so I am planning on making a trip this spring. Whats the best thing to look for over there as far as temps and water level? Whats the best month? Haven't done much crappie fishing but I know they eat good. Im thinking I'll stay around Richland. Any pointers would be appreciated. Thanks.
Mid May through early June are prime. Early the fish are shallow and any small jig under a bobber works. Crappie nibbles help. AS things warm up and spawn ends, they move deeper and you have to find them . You cannot launch a boat out of Richland now. Watch water levels that are posted daily. Should be an excellent year for numbers and size. A boat of any variety is a plus but not mandatory.
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Old 03-13-2017, 01:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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Mid May through early June are prime. Early the fish are shallow and any small jig under a bobber works. Crappie nibbles help. AS things warm up and spawn ends, they move deeper and you have to find them . You cannot launch a boat out of Richland now. Watch water levels that are posted daily. Should be an excellent year for numbers and size. A boat of any variety is a plus but not mandatory.
Puckfish, where can I find the water level information you mentioned? I also watch the camera and cannot believe the "creek" that is left from the powder river. I would like to watch the level increase with the camera. Just installed a Garmin with down/side view. Can't wait to see what I can find up there this year!

I also wonder what happened to the Elk that fell thru the ice just up from the park. Annyone know?
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Old 03-13-2017, 06:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

This is a link to a brochure by Idaho Power.

https://www.idahopower.com/pdfs/ourE...y_Brochure.pdf
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

https://www.idahopower.com/OurEnviro...ir/default.cfm
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

fisherguy/ezop thankyou both for the info. Very helpful. Tight lines!
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Old 03-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

I never knew they had a camera at Hewitt Park you could watch. Can someone post the link to it here? Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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I never knew they had a camera at Hewitt Park you could watch. Can someone post the link to it here? Thanks.

http://www.bakercounty.org/parks/parks.html

This was a great link as I have shot 100's of carp with my bow here. VERY LOW!!



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Old 03-17-2017, 06:10 PM   #11
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Looks like we hit bottom. Supposed to raise 7 feet over the next 5 days.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:47 AM   #12
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Looks like we hit bottom. Supposed to raise 7 feet over the next 5 days.
Yep! That's Brownlee this time of the year, I just hope they don't fluctuate the level too much while were there next month, makes for tough fishing.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

When the water level is low like it is now, is there anywhere to launch boats from along the reservoir? Last year we launch my boat from a undeveloped boat ramp on the south end of main reservoir. Not sure if that will be usable with water conditions. We're headed over the 4th of May and been looking forward to this trip all year, it'd be a shame if water conditions blow it for us.
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Old 04-21-2017, 05:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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Originally Posted by gojets View Post
When the water level is low like it is now, is there anywhere to launch boats from along the reservoir? Last year we launch my boat from a undeveloped boat ramp on the south end of main reservoir. Not sure if that will be usable with water conditions. We're headed over the 4th of May and been looking forward to this trip all year, it'd be a shame if water conditions blow it for us.
Woodhead Park off Hwy 71. The old ramp (still in use) just to the south of the newer ramps goes all the way down.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:01 PM   #15
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Thanks for the info
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Arrived late Thurs eve to a below the mud line water level in all of our usual launch places around Morgan cr, just too low for a safe launch in a lowering reservoir, we've launched at 58' below full pool before, it was probably around 62' to 64' below full pool Thurs/Fri, & dropping, would be doable with a small light craft you could drag, or carry, we went to Owyhee instead, cold water, & some wind, & rain, but overall a good 5 days of fishing.
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Old 05-05-2017, 01:47 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Looks like 2' rise per day!
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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Originally Posted by adrenaline View Post
Arrived late Thurs eve to a below the mud line water level in all of our usual launch places around Morgan cr, just too low for a safe launch in a lowering reservoir, we've launched at 58' below full pool before, it was probably around 62' to 64' below full pool Thurs/Fri, & dropping, would be doable with a small light craft you could drag, or carry, we went to Owyhee instead, cold water, & some wind, & rain, but overall a good 5 days of fishing.

The current information on Brownlee don't look good. If you go to https://www.idahopower.com/OurEnviro...ir/default.cfm There is a notice that says the end of May target level for Brownlee is 2050 ft and full pool is 2077
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Old 05-06-2017, 09:59 AM   #19
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The current information on Brownlee don't look good. If you go to https://www.idahopower.com/OurEnviro...ir/default.cfm There is a notice that says the end of May target level for Brownlee is 2050 ft and full pool is 2077
Earlier they said they would have it closer to full by the end of May, currently it's filling at close to 2' per day, with 26 more days left this month, 26x2'=52', so could fill as much as 52' by the end of the month, or 2072' ele, just 5 feet below full pool by 5-31, what they actually do, we'll have to wait, & see, 2050' ele is still plenty of water for all Boat ramps, this filling the reservoir in May is typical for Brownlee, regardless of how much available water is stored in snowpacks, as the target is always to have it close to full by the end of May, at least from what I've seen in the past 35 years, way back when in my late teens to early 20's we used to go on Memorial weekend, & the the water level was always close to full than, last time we were there on memorial weekend was about 15 years ago, & it was near full than also. Idaho power sells electricity, thats what they do, & knowing they have plenty of water to fill the reservoir, they waited til as long as they could, making as much $ as they could before filling the reservoir, the ACE does have a say as to how much water needs to be released for smolts, but I'm guessing this year Brownlee water is not needed, as there is plenty of water from all directions this year, Idaho power did agree several years back to have the reservoir a stable level for spawning fish, but really making money is there main concern, why wouldn't it be?
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:49 AM   #20
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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Originally Posted by gojets View Post
When the water level is low like it is now, is there anywhere to launch boats from along the reservoir? Last year we launch my boat from a undeveloped boat ramp on the south end of main reservoir. Not sure if that will be usable with water conditions. We're headed over the 4th of May and been looking forward to this trip all year, it'd be a shame if water conditions blow it for us.
How did you do?
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Old 05-13-2017, 10:27 AM   #21
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

We ended up going to owyhee, I think we made the right choice. We left with plenty of crappie on ice and had a great time. I was disappointed in the bass fishing but oh well, I will definitely be going back as it was my 1st time there. We camped at Indian creek but wish I would have drove the extra miles to Leslie, sounded like fishing was a little better down there for bass and cats.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:33 PM   #22
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Today at Hewitt

http://www.bakercounty.org/parks/parks_camera.html

slowly but surely...
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:16 PM   #23
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Today at Hewitt

http://www.bakercounty.org/parks/parks_camera.html

slowly but surely...
Idaho power says 2040 by Sat. That's enough to launch at Hewitt. Perfect weather forecast next Sat. For 5 or 6 days. Time to go. Northern Cal. Crappies are big and on the bite.
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:16 AM   #24
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

Brownlee is one place that I've never fished but would love to change that this year. I read somewhere however that you aren't supposed to eat fish from there do to pcb's & heavy metals. Is that the case?

How big are the Crappie down there?
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Old 05-16-2017, 10:50 AM   #25
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Default Re: Brownlee water level

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Brownlee is one place that I've never fished but would love to change that this year. I read somewhere however that you aren't supposed to eat fish from there do to pcb's & heavy metals. Is that the case?

How big are the Crappie down there?


You probably read it in the regulations book.
Depends on your age. These cancers and other nasty health problems take years to develop. So if you don't plan on being around much longer I would say ,chow down.


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Old 05-16-2017, 11:50 AM   #26
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Brownlee is one place that I've never fished but would love to change that this year. I read somewhere however that you aren't supposed to eat fish from there do to pcb's & heavy metals. Is that the case?

How big are the Crappie down there?
Advisories to not eat too much in a time period specified for age in the fishing regulations, advised to not eat any if pregnant, as yes Mercury is present in all species in Brownlee, didn't think PCB's were a problem there?, Crappie are fairly safe, especially the smaller ones, as Mercury builds up the food chain, the smaller, & younger fish simple don't have the time to build up high levels, a big old Catfish probably does have high levels, I've been eating fish in Brownlee for over 35 years now, mostly crappie the last 30 years tho, but have ate plenty of Catfish, & Bass too, other than some brain damage which may or may not be from Brownlee, it appears I will live a average life span. BTW Mercury is everywhere in microns, it's in the air we breath, it's in much of the food we buy at the grocery store, probably even in your backyard vegetable garden in very small amounts of course, so really there is now way to avoid Mercury completely. Was at but didn't get to fish Brownlee this year, I guess some fish are to 12", the 40 I saw in a cooler in late April were around 8 to 10". Don't live in a bubble...go fishing...eat Crappie, they are delicious...good Luck!
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:26 PM   #27
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Advisories to not eat too much in a time period specified for age in the fishing regulations, advised to not eat any if pregnant, as yes Mercury is present in all species in Brownlee, didn't think PCB's were a problem there?, Crappie are fairly safe, especially the smaller ones, as Mercury builds up the food chain, the smaller, & younger fish simple don't have the time to build up high levels, a big old Catfish probably does have high levels, I've been eating fish in Brownlee for over 35 years now, mostly crappie the last 30 years tho, but have ate plenty of Catfish, & Bass too, other than some brain damage which may or may not be from Brownlee, it appears I will live a average life span. BTW Mercury is everywhere in microns, it's in the air we breath, it's in much of the food we buy at the grocery store, probably even in your backyard vegetable garden in very small amounts of course, so really there is now way to avoid Mercury completely. Was at but didn't get to fish Brownlee this year, I guess some fish are to 12", the 40 I saw in a cooler in late April were around 8 to 10". Don't live in a bubble...go fishing...eat Crappie, they are delicious...good Luck!
. Sadly, I have yet to read a study on any river or lake that I have fished in US that says fish are free of all contaminants.. Certainly some fish are worse than others. Minnesota and Wisconsin fish have advisories, too.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:51 AM   #28
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I'd be surprised if there is any body of water anymore that doesn't come with some sort of caution label/advisory. I fish the John Day & The Dalles pools quite a bit and eat those fish 3 - 4x per month. However, I live close to the Yakima River and in my neck of the woods i wouldn't eat anything from it.

When was the last time you drank strait from a creek? I grew up in Northern California. You used to see duck bags of creek water hanging off the hood release, dangling in front of the radiator on trucks going down the road.
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Old 05-22-2017, 03:07 PM   #29
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I'll be in Richland for the long weekend. Any current reports?
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