Yakima River Flip-Flop – FOX 11 and FOX 41

RIMROCK, WA – The annual Yakima River “Flip-Flop” is underway.

The Yakima Valley Bureau of Reclamation started to slowly cut off water from Cle Elum Lake and is now flip-flopping and allowing more water into the Yakima River from Rimrock.

This means flows from the Tieton River and Yakima will be high this week.

The Yakima bureau of reclamation controls the flows of parts of the Yakima river by water from reservoirs in our region.

There are essentially two reasons why they do this…

1. “So the flows are more natural and the salmon can spawn in what would be more typical.” said Chris Lynch a Hydraulic Engineer Water Manager at the Yakima Bureau of Reclamation

2. “We can save water in the reservoir.”

To maintain a certain demand for the Yakima River the Yakima Bureau of reclamation essentially has gates at lake Keechelus, Kachness, Easton, Cle Elum, and Rim Rock to control how much water gets into the rivers around them.

“We still have demands in the river that we need to meet so we increase the flows from rim rock reservoir this time of year to meet the majority of the demands,” said Lynch.

One kind of fun thing people like to do once the river is high enough is white water rafting.

“The flows in the Tieton river will be high in September,” said Lynch. “High enough for fun rafting.”

The Tieton River should be floatable from the flip flop starting this week, so people can take advantage of the hot weather we are having. Just remember to wear a life jacket if you do decide to float the Yakima or Tieton river.

If you want to go with a company, here are some that will take you floating:




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