County water manager: 2011 was a banner water year

Water year 2011 saw a complete recovery from drought conditions at Bear Lake according to Cache County Water Manager Bob Fatheringham. Tuesday night he told the Cache County Council that spring runoff was very high and the water level of Bear Lake reached 5921.47 feet, an increase of 11.5 feet in 2011, more than in any other year on record.Fatheringham said the large volume of available water storage allowed a very simple operation at Bear Lake, store all excess inflow. He said inflow from the Bear River upstream of Bear Lake was bypassed through the Bear Lake Outlet Canal beginning July 7.Bear Lake is being lowered in preparation for flood control storage and the natural flow of the upper Bear River is being passed downstream. He said this is different than recent years but consistent with historical operations and agreements when Bear Lake is needed for flood control.

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