View Full Version : Deer Creek Reservoir will not fill to capacity this year

03-20-2008, 04:24 PM


In spite of what could be a banner year for spring runoff, Deer Creek Reservoir will not be filling up this year. It's all because of an ongoing project at the Deer Creek dam.

A viewer sent Eyewitness News an e-mail wondering what's going to happen with the lake level at Deer Creek this year. Is it going to fill? The answer is: not even close.

The popular recreation lake will be deliberately restricted from filling up this year. The maximum the government will allow is 30 vertical feet down from the elevation considered "full," which is 5,417 feet.

It will be held at or below 5,387 feet because of a seismic upgrade being done to the spillway at the Deer Creek dam. "The dam was built 60, 70 years ago before we understood some things about earthquakes and the kind of things that earthquakes can cause relative to earth dams. Therefore, we're doing this work. We started in 2003 and we hope to finish by next year. Although, we hope to get the majority of the work done by the end of this season," explained Bruce Barrett, with the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

If you had fun the last few years at the lake, it will probably be OK this year. During some of the drought years it stayed significantly below 5,387 feet, so some boaters will already be used to the low level.

The good news is in 2009 things should be more or less back to normal, assuming next winter is a normal winter.