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Last Update 4/17/14
Mission Statement

The Dworshak Reservoir Association (DRA) is a citizen-based group of reservoir users founded to collect, focus and provide information about reservoir management to association members, managers and the general public.

The DRA will work with federal, state, county and local government agencies on current and future activities on and around the reservoir. The group is concerned with the comprehensive management of the land, water quality and recreation on the reservoir while maintaining the pristine quality and wild Idaho characteristics of the area.

The DRA is an incorporated, independent, nonprofit, nonpolitical organization.

Take a minute to check out the photo gallery

Water level and Water temperature

Dworshak Project Factsheet

Dworshak to reduce outflow discharge Friday morning 4/17

AHSAHKA, Idaho - Discharge flows from Dworshak Dam will be decreased starting at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 18, from approximately 20,000 c.f.s. (cubic feet per second) to about 11,000 c.f.s. to balance flood control operations and flows to support spring smolt outmigration, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water-management officials. The decrease to 11,000 c.f.s. should be completed by noon. This discharge rate is planned to last at least through the end of April, but is subject to change.

The Corps advises Clearwater River boaters and other people using regulated waterways to always be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow.

Water-management changes can be especially dynamic this time of year as weather systems come through the region and temperatures begin to rise. This has not been a typical year for water management at Dworshak. Precipitation was lower in January followed by very heavy precipitation in February and March. This led to very high inflows. A record inflow of 34,000 c.f.s. occurred on March 10.

Flood control analysis led the Corps to make additional space in the Reservoir for spring runoff. Outflows were increased to 20,000 c.f.s. on March 22 and held at that level. Maximum Clearwater North Fork channel capacity is 25,000 c.f.s.
Friday's decreased flow means the reservoir will likely not drop below 1,486 feet elevation. The deepest flood-control draft elevation is 1,445 feet elevation. In May and June, flood control is typically balanced with the desire to have Dworshak Reservoir close to full pool (1,600 feet elevation) in time for the July 4 holiday weekend, said Steve Hall, reservoir manager for the Corps' Walla Walla District.

Managing water levels to reduce flood risk throughout the reservoir system requires constant monitoring of weather and snow-pack, plus making appropriate adjustments to ensure enough storage space is available for rainfall and snowmelt that occurs each spring.

Current water-management conditions can be viewed online at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm -- click on "Hourly" and look in the "TOTAL" column under the "OUTFLOW" heading on the reservoir report. Reservoir elevation is found in the "FOREBAY" column under the "EL AT POWERHOUSE" heading.

During fiscal year 2012, 1.98 billion kW hours of electrical power was produced by Dworshak Dam's three generating units. Since Dworshak Dam became operational in June 1972, it has prevented more than $2.8 million in potential local flood damages.

For more information, call the Public Affairs Office at 509-527-7020.

Dworshak Dam and Reservoir offers scenic springtime recreation
Water limited at Dent Acres campground due to repairs 4/12

AHSAHKA, Idaho - Enjoy early springtime in scenic north Idaho at the outdoor recreation facilities operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir. Dworshak has much to offer including camping, hiking, picnicking, visitor center activities, fishing, swimming and boating.

Merrys Bay day use area is now open and offers secluded picnicking and fishing opportunities. Also open are Dam View and Canyon Creek where primitive camping is available first-come, first-serve at no charge.

Dent Acres Campground opened on March 28. However, because of a water line break, only sites 1-7 have water. Sites 17-26 are closed for repairs, and remaining sites are open for use but will have no water at those sites until repairs are complete. Water is not available elsewhere at the campground.

All campsites will be free of charge until water service is restored. Portable restrooms are available in the campground and at the boat launch.

Regular season camping at Dent Acres will start May 24 with full hook-up sites available for $18 per night. Please make sure you make reservations ahead of time to guarantee your camping spot. To reserve your site at Dent Acres Campground, Dent Acres Group Camp, or Dent Acres picnic shelter, call the federal Recreation.gov toll-free line at 877-444-6777 or go online to www.recreation.gov.

Idaho's turkey-hunting season starts April 15. Hunting is allowed on all Corps property around the reservoir except in developed recreation areas. Be aware that ATV operation is prohibited off of designated roads and beyond gates or fences. Follow all safety precautions while visiting during hunting season, and be aware Dworshak reservoir is still very cold from spring runoff.

Water discharged from Dworshak Dam could fluctuate to accommodate run-off as warmer springtime conditions melt snow. Corps officials advise boaters and other persons using waterways both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow this time of year. Boat operators should also keep the fluctuating reservoir levels in mind when anchoring or tying-off their vessels. Always be aware of the dangers of hypothermia, and wear a Coast-Guard-approved personal flotation device when on or near the water.

School groups are also invited to visit Dworshak Dam Visitor Center where they can learn about hydropower, recreation, and natural and cultural history of the area. The Visitor Center offers a variety of interpretive displays, tours, water safety activities and historical movies, including the popular "Last of the Log Drives" and "Dworshak Dam Construction."
For more information about the visitor center, water safety, or recreation opportunities and current conditions, call Dworshak Dam Visitor Center during business hours at 208-476-1255 or stop by in person. It's open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Idaho Bass Anglers Tournament 4/2/14

The University of Idaho Idaho Bass Anglers, will be hosting a bass tournament in conjunction with the LC Valley Lunker Hunters on Dworshak April 5, launching from the Big Eddy. The entry fee will be $100 per team and hours will run from 7:00 AM to weigh in at 3:30.

More information on the Idaho Bass Anglers is available on their web site:


Dworshak Season 2014

I have been hiking the south west deserts for the last month and have been away from any access to the Dworshak Reservoir web site. My apologies for the lack of updates, but I am back and will get to work!

Editor Ed

Clearwater River Basin Snow Water Equivalent and Dworshak Water Level

The water supply in the Clearwater Basin as of April 4 is at 132 percent of normal! Run off is going to be plentiful. Hopefully it all won't come down to fast and furiously! Check out the Snotel data on the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) web site.

You can follow the in and out flow of Dworshak and the water level at the Corps web site. The water temp can be followed on this site , if the Corps updates it, they do tend to fall behind this one at times. These two links are always available at the top of this web site.

Dworshak to increase discharge Saturday March 22in anticipation of additional inflows

AHSAHKA, Idaho - Discharge flows from Dworshak Dam will be increased on Saturday from approximately 17,000 c.f.s. (cubic feet per second) to about 20,000 c.f.s. to make room for anticipated inflows resulting from additional rainfall and snowmelt in the Clearwater sub-basin, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water-management officials.

Corps officials advise boaters and other people using regulated waterways to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Water-management changes can be pretty dynamic this time of year as weather systems come through the region and temperatures begin to rise.

Managing water levels to reduce flood risk throughout the reservoir system requires constant weather and snow-pack monitoring and making appropriate adjustments to ensure enough storage space is available for rainfall and snow melt that occurs each spring.

Current water-management conditions can be viewed online at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm -- click on "Hourly" and look in the "TOTAL" column under the "OUTFLOW" heading on the reservoir report. Reservoir elevation is found in the "FOREBAY" column under the "EL AT POWERHOUSE" heading.

During fiscal year 2012, 1.98 billion kW hours of electrical power were produced by Dworshak Dam's three generating units. Since Dworshak Dam became operational in June 1972, it has prevented about $2.8 million in potential local flood damages

Dworshak announces Visitor Center schedule changes 2/24/14

AHSAHKA, Idaho -Dworshak Dam Visitor Center will be temporarily closed to accommodate staff-training requirements on March 3-6 and March 17-18.

Boat ramps at Big Eddy and Bruce's Eddy will remain open for use during the temporary change in schedule. The fishing wall below the dam will also be open for anglers.

As always, safety is the Corps' greatest concern - boaters should wear life jackets and avoid drinking alcohol while boating. The road to and from the visitor center can be icy during inclement weather, so please drive safely.

Dworshak Dam Visitor Center normal operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information regarding facilities access and current conditions, call 208-476-1255 during business hours.

Snow Water Equivalent Continues to Improve 2/20/14

This winter started out slow in the snow department but has caught up very well. Check out the water situation for Idaho river basins at this NRCS site.

Mini Camp Portfolio Project 2/15/14

For the past two-years Gary David Blount has be working for the US Army Corps of Engineers, Dworshak Project , he has been maintaining the Mini Camps, Destination and Safe Harbor Docks and Floating Toilets.

Camp 3.5

He has completed the Dworshak Reservoir "Mini Camp" portfolio project. This encompassed photographing over 100-Primitive Mini Camps on Dworshak Reservoir. He then mapped these Photographs (2000+ Photographs) on Google Earth and Google "Panoramio". If utilize Google Earth or Panoramio do a search on location: Dworshak Reservoir, Clearwater, Idaho.

You can also view the pictures on his youtube site. Thanks fot your efforts Gary!

Dworshak Mini Camp Picture Link

Panaramio Dworshak

Dworshak Reservoir Association Financial Report 2013 2/15/14

We had a slow year. We collected $10 in contributions. We spent $94 paying for the hosting of this web site. I had to fill out five pages of tax forms for the IRS to report our "corporate" dealings. We have total cash assets in the bank of $3638.21.

A sample of the IRS form IRS form questions:

-Did the corporation receive assets that had a fair market basis or fair
market value of more than $1 million?

-Are the corporation’s total receipts (page 1, line 1a, plus lines 4 through 10) for the tax year and its total assets at the end of the tax year less than $250,000?


We are working on using some of our funds and hopefully another donation to purchase two picnic tables for the newest destination dock that was anchored in the Fred's Bay area summer of 2013 and get them in place for the 2014 boating season. If any of you wish to pay any dues / contribute to our efforts, it would be appreciated. The tables are very expensive.

Clearwater Bass Anglers (CBA) 2/8/14

The CBA is a small community bass fishing club that was established in 1998 by a group of dedicated bass anglers who recognize the fun of tournament fishing. The CBA web site has a new location on the web. I recommend you check out their new site at: http://clearwaterbassanglers.com for some great information on tournaments and the club.

The tournament schedule for 2014 is as follows:

April 12 Dworshak (Big Eddy)
April 26 Snake River (TBA)
May 17 CDA (Heyburn State Park)
June 21 Dworshak (Big Eddy)
July 19 Long Lake (9 Mile Falls)
August 2 Snake River (TBA)

Dworshak discharge flows to change tomorrow 2/4/14

AHSAHKA - Water discharge from Dworshak Dam near Orofino, Idaho, will temporarily increase starting Wednesday, Feb. 5, between 4 and 5 a.m. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operations officials announced Tuesday.

Discharge flow from the dam will be increased from approximately 1,400 cfs (cubic feet per second) to about 5,500 cfs on Wednesday and will likely be sustained through Friday. This temporary change in flows will result in about a two-foot increase in water depth in the Clearwater River near its North Fork confluence. The water will be run through the dam's hydroelectric generators to provide greater power-grid stability during the current cold temperatures experienced throughout the region.

Corps officials advise boaters and other people using waterways both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Current water-management conditions can be viewed on the District web site at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm -- click on "Hourly" and look in the "Total" column under the "Outlow" heading on the reservoir report. Reservoir elevation is found in the "Forebay" column under the "El at Powerhouse" heading.

During fiscal year 2012, 1.98 billion kW hours of electrical power were produced by Dworshak Dam's three generating units. Since Dworshak Dam became operational in June 1972, it has prevented about $2.8 million in potential local flood damages.

For more information, please call the Public Affairs Office at 509-527-7020.

Dworshak discharge flows to change 12/17

AHSAHKA, Idaho – Water discharge from Dworshak Dam near Orofino, Idaho, will temporarily fluctuate on Wednesday, Dec. 18, between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. while U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff run tests on hydroelectric generator Number 2 which recently underwent periodic maintenance, operations officials at the dam announced today.

Discharge flow from the dam will be increased from approximately 1,500 c.f.s. (cubic feet per second) to about 2,400 c.f.s. during the testing period. This temporary change in flows will likely result in about a one-half-foot increase in water depth in the Clearwater River.

Corps officials advise boaters and other people using waterways both in Dworshak Reservoir and below the dam on the Clearwater River to be alert to changes in water elevation and volume of flow. Current water-management conditions can be viewed on the District website at www.nwd-wc.usace.army.mil/nww/rreports.htm -- click on “Hourly” and look in the “TOTAL” column under the “OUTFLOW” heading on the reservoir report. Reservoir elevation is found in the “FOREBAY” column under the “EL AT POWERHOUSE” heading.

During fiscal year 2012, 1.98 billion kW hours of electrical power were produced by Dworshak Dam’s three generating units. Since Dworshak Dam became operational in June 1972, it has prevented about $2.8 million in potential local flood damages.

For more information, please call the Public Affairs Office at 509-527-7020.

Grandad Boat Ramp Project 12/16

The Corps of Engineers at Dworshak Reservoir may be applying to the State of Idaho Parks and Recreation for a Waterways Improvement Fund grant to repair and extend the Grandad boat ramp. The ramp was repaired and a low water parking lot installed in 2002. Since then, the ramp has slid/slumped in one section due to a ground water spring adjacent to the ramp. This project will extend the ramp so it usable when the water reaches the summer low of -80 feet down, allowing boat launching for late season fishing and hunting. Engineers and geologists have reviewed the site and have come up with a design to capture and re-direct the water from the spring and lengthen the ramp.


Grandad Recreation Area receives a lot of visitors when the ramp is usable, we expect this demand to continue into the late summer and fall fishing and hunting seasons. Primary users to Grandad come from Pierce, Weippe, Elk River, St. Maries, Orofino, Lewiston/Clarkston and Moscow. We also have visitors coming from Boise, Spokane, Priest River, and the Tri-cities areas.

If you wish to send a letter of support or make comment about this grant application please contact Dworshak Natural Resources Manager Paul Pence

Paul J. Pence
Natural Resources Manager
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir

Check out Dworshak Dam and Reservoir on Facebook

Winter weather closes some Dworshak recreation facilities; Visitor Center holiday closures announced 12/14

AHSAHKA, Idaho –Dworshak Dam and Reservoir staff will close Dent Acres Campground for the winter season beginning Dec. 16, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ officials announced, today.

Dam View, Grandad and Canyon Creek campgrounds, Viewpoint and Merry’s Bay day-use areas were closed for the season on Nov. 30. These recreation sites will reopen in the spring as weather conditions allow safe access and facilities operations.

The Dworshak Dam Visitor Center will be closed Dec. 23-29, 2013, and on Jan. 1, 2014.

Fishing enthusiasts will find the boat ramps at Big Eddy and Bruce’s Eddy open for use during the holiday schedule, and the fishing wall area below the dam remains open to the fishing public.

As always, safety is the Corps’ greatest concern – boaters should wear lifejackets and avoid drinking alcohol while boating. All winter outdoor-recreation enthusiasts should be aware of hypothermia symptoms -- stay warm and dry to avoid cold-weather health hazards.

The road to and from the visitor center can be challenging and icy during inclement weather, so please, drive safely. For more information regarding facilities access and current conditions, call the Dworshak Visitor Center at 208-476-1255.

Winter Reservoir

Corps anticipates increased traffic during Show-and-Shine cruise 7/11

OROFINO, Idaho – Parking spaces may be hard to come by on Friday evening at Dworshak Dam’s Visitor Center, according to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recreation officials there.

Visitors will likely experience increased traffic on the road leading to the top of the dam from 6-7:30 p.m. as car owners participating in Saturday’s Orofino “Show and Shine” event make a pit-stop at the dam during a pre-event cruise about town. Visitors can get a sneak-peek of the classic, antique and collector-quality cars during their cruise by the dam. Photo identification will be required for visitors to access the top of the dam where the show cars will be temporarily parked.

Visitors should remain alert to congested traffic in the parking area. Park rangers ask that drivers be patient and courteous to avoid any fender-benders as cars come and go.

For more information about the Orofino Show-and-Shine event, contact Bill Burge at 208-476-5533.

Last Years Show and Shine on Dworshak Dam


Monster Rainbow Caught Below Dworshak Dam 7/5
Corps forwarded the pictures to me, with no other info.

Dworshak Reservoir jumps up Bassmaster Magazine’s list of Top 100 best bass fishing spots 5/3

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – For the second year in a row, two locations managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District made the Bassmaster Magazine Top-100 list of best places to fish for bass, according to information released April 29 by B.A.S.S. Communications www.bassmaster.com/news/100-best-bass-lakes-announced.

The second annual list ranking the country’s best bass lakes found Dworshak Reservoir, located near Ahsahka, Idaho, on the north fork of the Clearwater River, had leaped 51 positions up the Top-100 chart from number 85 to number 26. The reservoir extends 53 miles upstream of Dworshak Dam, with dozens of secluded inlets and streams creating ideal bass-fishing conditions. The state-record smallmouth bass record, weighing in at 9.72 pounds, was caught on Dworshak Reservoir by Dan Steigers of Juliaetta, Idaho, on Oct. 28, 2006.

Dworshak Dam is a large straight-axis concrete gravity dam 717 feet high and 3,287 feet long. Its construction created various marinas, boat launches and camping facilities on the reservoir. Dworshak’s generator unit number 3 is the largest hydroelectric generator in the Corps of Engineers’ inventory, capable of producing up to 220 megawatts of electricity.

Big Fish - Yes!

Bass club and other outdoor recreation groups frequently choose Dworshak for group events and tournaments, according to Corps park rangers at the dam. If your group is interested in scheduling an event at Dworshak, call the visitor center at 208-476-1255 to find out how to apply for a special use permit.

The Columbia River in Oregon and Washington fell one position to number 21 on the Bassmaster Top-100 list. Much of the river’s natural resources recreation opportunities are managed by the Corps’ Walla Walla, Portland and Seattle districts. The river runs about 1,200 miles from its headwaters in British Columbia, Canada, through Washington and Oregon to the Pacific Ocean near Astoria, Oregon. The Corps operates five dams on the Columbia River mainstem, each forming a lake and water recreation opportunities including fishing. The Walla Walla District operates McNary Lock and Dam in Umatilla, Ore., which created Lake Wallula stretching upstream to the Kennewick-Pasco-Richland area in Washington.

Recreation information for the Walla Walla District’s McNary Lock and Dam area is available from the McNary Natural Resources Management Office in Umatilla, Ore., at 541-922-2268; Upper Lake Wallula information upstreatm of McNary is available from Ice Harbor Natural Resources Management in Burbank, Wash., at 509-547-2048. More information about Walla Walla District outdoor recreation opportunities is available at www.nww.usace.army.mil/corpsoutdoors.

A photographic slide show of all Top-100 locations and their rankings is available on the Bassmaster Magazine website at www.bassmaster.com/slideshow/100-best-bass-lakes-2013.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game completed its spring trawl survey 4/26

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game completed its spring trawl survey on April 10. The2 year old kokanee (the ones we mostly catch) ranged from about 9 to 11 inches in length and were fat and healthy looking. These fish were as big as we’ve ever caught this time of year, and were about a half inch longer than what we caught last year at this time. For this survey, we sampled from the Dam to Evans Creek (halfway between Dent Bridge and Grandad Bridge). Interestingly, the lowest catches were near the Dam, and catches tended to increase as we moved up reservoir, especially upstream of Magnus Bay. So, if you are having troubles catching kokanee this spring, you may want to try farther up reservoir then you typically do. Based on trawl counts, it appears that kokanee abundance will be on the low side again this year, so it should shape up to be another year of fewer, but bigger fish.

If you’re a bass fisherman, it’s almost time to start looking for smallmouth bass on the lower end of the reservoir. Smallmouth bass tend to get active when water temperatures reach 50°F. During our trawl, the surface temperatures on the lower end ranged from 48 to just below 50°F and a thermocline has already developed in some areas. So get ready, bass should be getting hungry any time now.

Spring weather is hard to predict. So take advantage of the nice days that come our way and get out and catch some fish. Good luck!

Trawl catch from the Evans Creek area on the night of April 10, 2013.

Clearwater County Marine Deputy Receives Award 4/18

Mike Gladhart, Clearwater County Marine Sheriff Deputy has received the 2013 Idaho State Boating and Safety Instructor of the Year Award.

He has also been selected as the Western Region boating and safety award winner which puts him in an elite class of three instructors nationwide, one of whom will be selected as the best in the nation! Mike spends hours every year instructing boaters and educating students all over Idaho in the finer points of boating legally and recreating safely.

Many of you that boat the Clearwater River and Dworshak have met Mike on patrol, sometimes on not such great terms, but hey, he is doing his job well and helping us all boat safely. Mike is running out of wall space to hang awards, over the last few years he has won numerous state awards as Marine Deputy and Boat Safety instructor.

Congratulations Mike and thanks for your efforts to keep boating in Idaho safe. Good luck on the National Award!

Spokeman Review Outdoor Blog Talks to Dworshak Kokanee 4/18

Her is a link to another Spokemen Review discussion on the forecast of improving Kokanee fishing on Dworshak.

The Year of the Kokanee 4/16/13

Region-wide forecasts suggest 2013 will be “the year of the kokanee” in the Inland Northwest.

Dworshak Reservoir’s kokanee fishery surprised anglers in 2012, as notoriously small kokanee finally showed some size. The fish were growing to the 13-inch range in response to the nutrient enhancement project Idaho Fish and Game and the Corps of Engineers have been conducting since 2007 to make up for the lack of feed in the reservoir’s clear waters.

This year – depending on overwinter survival that has yet to be determined – biologists expect twice as many 2 year-old fish reaching even heftier sizes.


“The fish anglers are catching right now are running about 10-11 inches long,” Andy Dux, IFG biologist, said last week. “They should be 12-15 inches long by this summer and be abundant enough to provide good catch rates.”

The trick at Dworshak is to follow the fish, which progressively move farther up the 54-mile reservoir during summer toward their fall spawning areas, Dux said.

In spring, most anglers launch at Big Eddy near the dam since the fishing is best in the lower reservoir upstream for about 10 miles.

In summer, more anglers will launch at Dent Acres recreation facility 13-miles upstream from the dam to get into the good fishing.

Check out the full northwest info on the Spokesman-Review website.


The Idaho State Parks Passport

The Idaho State Parks Passport is a new $10 annual sticker for Idahoans that is available for purchase at the time you register your recreational vehicle (RV) or passenger vehicle, online, by mail-in renewal or at any county DMV office. See web site below for more purchase details. Looks like a great deal if you visit the state parks regularly. You get $5 off every night of camping if you have the pass! Check out more info here...


Smoke 2012

The week of Sept 17-21 had us socked in with smoke. Any fish caught would be smoked on the way home!

View from Bruces Eddy ramp back at the dam.

Looking toward the marina from Merrys Bay.

Satellite image Sept 13 of smoke in the valleys.


Dworshak Reservoir life jacket loaner board vandalized 2012

AHSAHKA, Idaho – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir need help obtaining information about recent damage to a life jacket loaner board located near Boat Ramp-2 at Bruces Eddy Recreation Area.

On Sept. 11, Corps rangers found the loaner board had been vandalized -- the metal arms which hold the life jackets had been ripped off the loaner board. Rangers estimate it will cost about $200 to repair the board and replace the metal arms.

The loaner boards provide visitors with free use of life jackets while using recreation facilities at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir. By providing free life jackets to borrow, rangers hope more visitors will wear them and help prevent water-related fatalities.

Dworshak rangers would like to remind the public about the Corps Watch program – a crime-watch deterrence program aimed at protecting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assets. Each year, millions of dollars in federal property are lost due to vandalism, larceny, arson, and environmental and cultural degradation. To help fight these crimes and reduce operations and maintenance costs, the Corps received congressional authority to offer cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals causing damage to Corps of Engineers property.

Witnesses or others with information about the life jacket loaner board vandalism -- or any other Corps-property-related crime -- are encouraged to use the toll-free number, 1-866-413-7970, 24 hours a day, to report the incident. Callers can remain anonymous. This program does not replace the 911 emergency notification system. Callers can also report vandalism by calling the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office at: 208-476-4521.

Students from Great Britain Study Dworshak Dam and Reservoir 2012

Four students from University of Plymouth in Plymouth, England visited Dworshak and went for a short cruise on the house boat MaryLou.

They are travelling with their university group for a fieldwork module in their last year at university. In the first week they visited Ellensburg, Richland, Hood River and Baker City and in the second week they did their own individual projects in Riggins and Moscow. They are comparing the recreation and impacts on the dammed river at Orofino and the un-dammed Salmon River in Riggins where white water rafting is the main recreational activity.

They gathered information on the affects of the dam on the local economy and people. They asked questions about the area beforeand after the dam. They interviewed locals and will report back to their main group in Moscow, Idaho on what they discovered and what they found to be the affects of the dam as compared to no dam in the Riggins area.

Emily Hall, Will Smales, Adam Arscott and Karen Jeffreys
on the upper deck of the houseboat MaryLou in Merrys Bay


Destination Dock Dedication 2012

Officials from Clearwater and Latah counties gathered at Merrys Bay on Dworshak Reservoir Tuesday to cut the ribbon on a new recreational dock that will be placed above Freds Bay. Shown from left are: front, Clearwater County Sheriff Chris Goetz, Clearwater County Waterways Committee John Allen, Latah County Commissioner Tom Stroscheim, Clearwater County Commissioner Don Ebert, Latah County Commissioner Dave McGraw, Clearwater County Commissioner Carole Galloway, Clearwater Waterways Committee / Dworshak Reservoir Association Ed Lozar, Clearwater Waterways Committee Elbert Snyder; back Clearwater County Sheriff's Cpl. Mike Gladhart and Clearwater County Commissioner Stan Leach.

A new destination dock was welcomed to the lake Tuesday. Comissioners from Latah and Clearwater Counties with members of their Water Ways comittees and the Clearwater County Sheriff Department ceremoniously cut a ribbon christening the dock. The dock was obtained by cooperation of the counties, the Corps of Engineers and a grant from Idaho Parks and Recreation. The dock is temporarily in Merry's Bay, plans are to anchor it just up from the marina on the west side of the reservoir.

Kokanee Fishing 2012

If you haven't been kokanee fishing on Dworshak yet this year, now is the time. The lower fish densities this year, combined with good reservoir productivity, have resulted in the largest fish we have seen in a long time. Right now two year old kokanee are running from 12 to 13 inches and one year old kokanee are averaging 8 inches and can be over 9 inches. These larger fish are at high enough densities to provide some fantastic fishing.

The best fishing right now is in the Grandad area. The large two year old fish are making their way up the reservoir to get ready to spawn. Males are already starting to develop a hump and tinge of color. During our trawl surveys last week, we caught plenty of large fish upstream of Grandad bridge, but only an occasional large fish as we worked our way downstream from Grandad. As we get into September, these larger two year old fish will make their way out of the reservoir and up into the rivers and creeks to spawn. However, the smaller one year old fish are large enough to catch now (some will be 10 inches by September) and could provide a fishery through the fall for those of you who want to keep at it.

So if you have any interest in kokanee fishing, get up to Grandad in the next few weeks, and remember to bring a BIG cooler!

Joe DuPont
Clearwater Region Fishery Manager
Idaho Department of Fish and Game

Great Swimming 2012

The water temps on the lake are between 78 and 80.

Corps Updates Dworshak Web Site 2012

Check it out: http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Locations/DistrictLocksandDams/DworshakDamandReservoir.aspx

New Commander named to head Corps’ Northwestern Division 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. -- At a change of command ceremony today, Colonel Anthony C. Funkhouser assumed command of the Northwestern Division office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He succeeds Col. Robert A. Tipton who served as commander since the retirement of Brig. Gen. John R. McMahon last month.

From his Portland headquarters, Funkhouser will direct a 4,800-member workforce and a multi-billion annual program in civil works, military construction, and environmental restoration that spans 14 states throughout the Missouri and Columbia river basins. These activities are implemented through the division’s five operating districts, located in Portland, Seattle and Walla Walla, Wash., Kansas City, Mo., and Omaha, Neb.

Funkhouser most recently served as Commander of the Afghanistan Engineer District-South, Kandahar, a position he held since July 2010. Prior to his assignment in Afghanistan, he served as commander of the Southwestern Division, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Dallas, Tex.) and of the Corps' Tulsa District office, in addition to numerous other stateside and overseas combat and operations assignments.

A 1985 civil engineering graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., Funkhouser earned a master's degree in engineering management from the University of Missouri-Rolla and a master's of strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The Fish Ladder: Notes from Dworshak Fisheries Complex 2012

Check out the new web site / blog the Dworshak Fisheries folks now have in place.

Summer Arrives (6/21/12)

The longest daylight hours of the year on June 21 brought the first day of summer on the calendar and to the reservoir. Water temperature was 71° yesterday and the air was a sizzling 89 degrees. Ramps are all working as the water level is only 18 feet below full pool. Seemed for a while all this good news would never arrive.

Rest rooms are clean and operational, docks are dusted off and camps are ready for visitors. Time to enjoy the lake.

Wear your life jacket, boat responsibly and be aware of the floating debris, it can bight hard.

Wood Gator

Dworshak Reservoir almost full; July 4 outdoor fun awaits visitors 2012

AHSAHKA, Idaho – Dworshak Reservoir measured within 2 feet of full pool on Friday, June 22, and is on track to reach full-pool elevation -- 1,600 feet -- by Wednesday, July 4, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers water managers announced today.

Corps water managers plan to maintain full pool at Dworshak Reservoir through the July 7-8 weekend, subject to downstream needs to maintain healthy river temperatures for outmigrating ESA-listed fish species.

Dworshak Dam and Reservoir offers a variety of outdoor summer fun opportunities during the July 4 holiday – boating, camping, water sports, swimming, fishing, hiking and more.

“All campgrounds and boat ramps are open for use,” said Paul Pence, Dworshak natural resources manager. “And, the bass and kokanee fishing have been great!”

Dent Acres Campground sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors can call Dworshak recreation staff at 208-476-1255 to obtain campsite availability information. Visitors who arrive early can pay to reserve sites for friends and family yet to arrive.

The Corps invites visitors to come use the recreation facilities at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir, but it's important to remember to leave some things behind, according to Corps recreation officials.

Fireworks of any kind are prohibited in all the Corps' parks and on its lands across the Walla Walla District. Restrictions aren't intended to limit visitors' ability to celebrate, but rather to help all visitors enjoy an incident-free occasion.

The Corps and law enforcement officials will be patrolling facilities through the holiday, according to Deb Norton, Lead Park Ranger for Dworshak Dam and Reservoir. “Our rangers would rather not have to issue citations to fireworks policy violators, but they will if necessary in order to keep all of our visitors safe. Ultimately, we hope everyone will recognize the very real risk that fireworks pose in a forested environment and appreciate that safety is everybody's responsibility.”

In addition, the reserving of mini-camp sites along the Dworshak Reservoir shoreline is prohibited. Early placement of camping equipment at mini-camp sites in an attempt to save a spot for the July 4 holiday can result in the removal of the camping equipment or a citation.

Please enjoy the reservoir safely this weekend, by taking the following precautions:

· Changing weather conditions can create unsafe situations on open water. Know the weather and have a float plan.

· Keep life jackets on children while on or around the water.

· Don’t let small children out of your sight.

· Check the serviceability of your boat.

· Ensure properly fitting, accessible and serviceable life vests are available for each occupant on your boat. Better yet, wear them.

· Before proceeding at higher speeds, familiarize yourself with the area you will be boating as there may be floating woody debris or rocks, stumps and shallow areas not visible from the surface.

· When boating on the reservoir, please use caution because lake levels can change quickly – anchor your boat in water deep enough to avoid beaching and leave enough slack in your anchorline to avoid sinking should lake levels fluctuate up or down.

· Campfires should be made using established fire rings only.

The Dworshak Dam Visitor Center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The center offers a variety of interpretive displays and movies about Dworshak and the history of the area, including the popular “Last of the Log Drives.” For more information, call the Dworshak Dam Visitor Center at 208-476-1255 or 800-321-3198.

Check Out the Clearwater Bass Anglers Website Click Here


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website gets new look; Web links changing 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, will soon migrate its public website: http://www.nww.usace.army.mil and all its Web pages to a new look and Web hosting platform. This migration will result in changed Web addresses, which means personal bookmarks may no longer function.

The Corps Headquarters (www.usace.army.mil) is updating, refreshing and migrating 58 Corps websites to a new system hosted by the Department of Defense. The system provides the Corps with a consistent Website look and feel and streamlines content management making it easier to keep Web pages current.

Among many other improvements, our goal is to provide the public with a visually appealing Web presence that includes up-to-date information and delivers a rich user experience that makes use of audio, video and other Web elements. The new website also complies with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act providing disability access.

All Corps Divisions, Districts and Centers plan to migrate their websites by late 2012.

Update: Corps continues to improve dam safety in Walla Walla District

Dworshak Dam recently given improved safety rating 2012

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Walla Walla District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is continuing its ongoing effort to improve safety at its dams and dam-related levees throughout the Snake River basin, at McNary Lock and Dam/Lake Wallula on the Columbia River, and at Mill Creek in the Walla Walla River Basin.

The objective of the Corps’ Dam Safety Program is to maintain public safety, make Corps dams safer and minimize risks. What’s new in recent years is how the Corps assesses its dams and incorporates risk management concepts into dam safety management, routine activities and programming decisions. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the resulting flood damage in the New Orleans area gave rise to a new era of public safety requirements concerning dams and levees. This changed how the Corps and other federal agencies do business. It changed how the nation invests in infrastructure challenges across the country.

“Public Safety will always be our highest priority,” says Lt. Col. David Caldwell, Walla Walla District Commander. “While we can’t completely eliminate risk, we are able to understand it and mitigate for that risk. That’s where we’re currently placing our efforts.”

Since 2007, the Corps has used a risk-informed process to prioritize addressing dam safety deficiencies on a nationwide basis. All Corps dams and “appurtenant” or dam-related levees were initially screened and assessed for dam safety issues and deficiencies and their potential risk to the public. After screening and assessment, the Corps initially categorized each dam or dam-related levee into one of five Dam Safety Action Classes (DSAC) based on individual dam safety risk, with DSAC-I “Urgent and Compelling” being the highest-risk structure and DSAC-V “Normal” being the lowest-risk structure. The safety classifications are assigned by a Corps headquarters “Senior Oversight Group.” These initial screenings were based on a brief records-only review so the Corps could quickly assess the scope of the challenges nation-wide and start prioritizing studies and repairs.

Additionally, when these initial safety classifications were assigned to each dam, the Walla Walla District developed and began implementing “interim risk reduction measures” (IRRMs) at each of the District’s dams and appurtenant levees to reduce risk of damage to property and help prevent loss of life. IRRMs include both short-term and ongoing efforts to reduce public risk while long-term solutions are pursued. They can be structural or non-structural.

As a result of Dam Safety Action Classification program efforts in recent years, the Corps has performed in-depth studies to obtain a better understanding of risks and conditions at its dams. In some cases, new observations were made of symptoms of potentially serious problems. In other cases, the Corps learned original design and construction methods do not meet current safety standards. DSAC ratings are reviewed during routine periodic assessments and during special studies, during which dams are more closely reviewed and assessed.

In May 2012, Dworshak Dam and Reservoir near Orofino, Idaho, received a safer and improved DSAC-III “High Priority” safety rating from Corps headquarters after a rigorous study and review by national safety experts. Dworshak was initially classified in October 2007 as DSAC-II “Urgent” because of engineering unknowns related to structural stability and foundation seepage of concrete gravity sections.

The improved “High Priority” rating for Dworshak is based on completion of a detailed “Phase I Issue Evaluation Study,” which took a closer look at the dam. The improved safety classification is based on 1) a confirmation of the robustness of dam design and historical performance of the structure, and 2) that potentially significant failure modes are a result of rare seismic events.

Dam safety action classifications are based on a calculation of each project’s probability of failure and the consequences of failure. Probability of dam failure is based on an analysis of potential deficiencies and potential failure modes of project components. Potential consequences of failure are impacts to downstream life, property, resources (such as hydropower generation), economies and environment. Improved understanding of risks enable the Corps to better address them through structural and procedural risk reduction measures. The dam safety classifications also assist the U.S. Congress and the Corps in prioritizing funding for dam safety improvements.

Dworshak Hiking Trails Cleared for Adventure 2012

The Corps has informed us that as of 5/25 all the hiking trails around Dworshak have been cleared, maintained and ready for hiking! The trails are: Merry's Bay, West Ridge, Dent, Big Eddy, Canyon Creek and Cold Springs.

Hiking Trail

Dworshak Recreation Improvement 2012

A cooperative effort between Clearwater County, Latah County, Corps of Engineers, Idaho State Parks and Dworshak Reservoir Association local volunteers completed assembly of two new dock facilities for the reservoir.
Clearwater County Water Ways Committee working for the county commissioners obtained three grants in the fall of 2011 to purchase parts for two new docks and items to maintain and repair the existing docks on the lake.

The assembly project was coordinated by Clearwater County Marine Deputy Mike Gladhart.  A crew of two from the EZ dock manufacturer, the Idaho State Parks crew, Corps of Engineers crew and machinery and local volunteers organized by the Dworshak Reservoir Association spent most of a very warm Monday at the Bruce’s Eddy ramp bolting together a new destination dock and an access dock for Dworshak State Park.

The Corps indicates the destination dock should in place for use this boating season. The dock is planned to be placed somewhere between the Big Eddy Marina and Indian Creek, probably just up from the marina on the left side of the lake headed up reservoir. The state park access dock is planned to be placed on the shore just below the pavilion.

On Tuesday, ladders, benches and anchor brackets were assembled and attached. The Corps was also able to use some of the maintenance parts to repair the Dick’s Creek Safe harbor dock.

Everyone involved from the grant writing through the assembly and placement deserves a big thanks for their cooperation and hard work to complete this project.

Bruce's Eddy ramp dock assembly

More photos can be viewed here.

Corps completes environmental compliance for nutrient project 2012

AHSAHKA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Walla Walla District has completed environmental compliance for the Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Project, an ecosystem improvement project at Dworshak Reservoir.

After review and consideration of recent public comments in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Corps found that the project would not have significant impacts on the environment. The addition of nutrients to the reservoir is set to start May 17.

The Corps' environmental analysis was performed within a well-established environmental review process that includes public involvement. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) previously issued a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit to the Corps on Sept. 6, 2011, effective on Oct. 15, 2011 after EPA environmental review and consideration of public comments. The NPDES permit allows application of liquid fertilizer to Dworshak Reservoir as an ecosystem treatment.

Dworshak Reservoir “No Wake” buoy vandalized 5/5/12

‘Corps Watch’ Program offers up to $1,000 reward; callers can remain anonymous

AHSAHKA, Idaho – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers park rangers at Dworshak Dam and Reservoir are asking for the public’s help by providing information about serious vandalizing of the Elk Creek “No Wake” buoy on the reservoir during this past winter.

Numerous bullet holes were found on the buoy, and it was mostly submerged, posing a safety hazard to boaters. Repair cost was more than $2,500 not including Corps labor cost.

Dworshak rangers remind the recreating public about the “Corps Watch” program – a crime-watch deterrence program aimed at protecting U.S. Army Corps of Engineers assets. Each year, millions of dollars in federal property are lost due to vandalism, larceny, arson, and environmental and cultural degradation. To help fight these crimes and reduce operations and maintenance costs, the Corps received congressional authority to offer cash rewards of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of individuals causing damage to Corps of Engineers property.

Witnesses or others with information about the Canyon Creek or other vandalism are encouraged to use the toll-free number 866-413-7970 to report incidents 24 hours a day. Callers can remain anonymous. This program does not replace the 911 emergency notification system. Callers can also report vandalism to the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office at 208-476-4521.


The new Reservoir Destination Dock and the Dworshak State Park Access which was obtained by a Water Ways Improvement Grant obtained by Clearwater County are scheduled to be assembled on May 14 and May 15 (Monday and Tuesday) at the Bruce's Eddy boat ramp. The dock manufacturer will have a few folks there to assemble the dock but we need volunteers to assist in the construction of the dock. Work will include lifting and bolting dock sections together, moving tools and parts and installing cleats.

The work will begin at 7 AM each day. You can stay all day or a few hours. Please bring a lunch if you plan on staying the day. Your help would be appreciated.

The Corps of Engineers are providing equipment to move, assemble and place the dock on the lake as matching grant work / funds. The Corps indicates they will most likely have the dock in place for use this boating season. The dock is planned to be placed somewhere between the Big Eddy Marina and Indian Creek, probably just up from the marina on the left side of the lake headed up reservoir.

Please contact Ed Lozar at 476-4906, Mike Gladhart, Clearwater County Marine Deputy Sheriff at 476-4521 or
Paul Pence, Corps of Engineers Resource Manager at 476-1258 for more information.


The spring snow melt and run off is starting to fill the reservoir. The water level is at 1534 as of May 1 which is 66 feet below full pool.

The water level has come up over 20 feet in the past 2 weeks and is rising about 1.5 feet a day. You can check it out at:



The DRA started 2011 with $878.29 in the bank. The DRA bank fund as of Dec 31, 2011 is $3,756.41.

The fund raiser raffle brought in $447. Donations / dues amounted to $2,515.06

The only expenditures were two payments of $41.97 for a total of $83.94 to 1&1 Internet for the Dworshak.org domain name and internet hosting.

Start $878.29 - Expenditure $83.94 = $794.35

$794.35 + Raffle $447.00 = $1,241.35

$1,241.35 + Donations $2,515.06 = $3,756.41

The DRA would like to once again thank every one for helping us out with raffle donations, sales and purchases and for the donations.


I attended this projects informational meeting and read the provided literature. In a nut shell....

The addition of a small amount of nitrogen to the reservoir is scheduled to resume this may 2012 since the Corps has all the necessary paper work now in place.

The nutrient nitrogen is added to aid the development of zooplankton (good algae) which will benefit the fish. The literature states that the Corps and researchers"are confident that the project did not cause the blooms of blue green algae" (bad algae). Bad algae blooms have been seen on the reservoir since it's beginning and proved to be present 7 out of 8 sampled years when there was no nutrient supplementation. The bad algae occurrences appear to be lower in the years they did add the nitrogen supplement.

The fish appear to be getting a bit larger.

The pilot project or 'test" is scheduled to continue through 2017 and algae and fish will be monitored.

My personal concern is the word "appears" in all the literature. It "appears" they are helping the Kokanee and it "appears" bad algae occurrences are lower in supplement years. They know they need more concrete data / information to get rid of the word "appears". This test us costing the Corps of Engineers and the Idaho Fish and Game a total of $215,000 a year. Hopefully the data over the next five years will support those theories.


Bassmasters Magazine reviewed thousands of lakes where you could catch big bass in a beautiful setting. Dworshak Reservoir made the list!

We sent them lots of photos but apparently they did not have room to publish any of them. Personally I like being number 85 rather than in the top 10. We can enjoy the fishing and quiet knowing we rank in the top 100, but shouldn't get too many more visitors based on the ranking. A few new folks is fine but we don't need a crowd.

Check it out.... http://www.bassmaster.com/news/100-best-bass-lakes

Updated fact sheet from Corps of Engineers regarding nutrient supplementation

Fact Sheet in PDF

If you have questions.please contact:
Paul J. Pence
Natural Resources Manager
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir

Volunteers Needed for Destination Dock Assembly

Last year we succeeded in securing three grants for dock additions and improvements on Dworshak. The assembly of the Destination Dock parts we secured with one of the grants is tentatively scheduled for May 14-15. If your interested in helping assemble the dock stay tuned here for more details as they develop. Maybe you can pencil it it on your calendar!

Bass Masters Magazine 2012

The DRA was recently contacted by Bass Masters magazine they wanted pictures for an upcoming story in their monthly magazine that describes the 10 best bass lakes in the United States! Dwoshak is supposed to be included!

Facsimile phone number changed for public comments about Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Environmental Assessment (3/2/12)

AHSAHKA, Idaho – The facsimile phone number has changed for submitting public comments about the “Dworshak Nutrient Supplementation Pilot Study” Environmental Assessment by March 17, 2012. The new fax number is 509-527-7804. The U.S. Mail and email addresses remain the same.

Public comments about the Corps Environmental Assessment must be postmarked, faxed or e-mailed to the Corps by March 17, 2012, to be included as part of the public record. E-mail comments should be sent to DworshakNutrientSupplProj@usace.army.mil. Faxed comments should now be sent to 509-527-7804. U.S. Mail comments should be mailed to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, Environmental Compliance Section, ATTN: John Leier, 201 North 3rd Avenue, Walla Walla, WA 99362-1876.

The EA and draft FONSI documents are available for viewing at the Corps’ website at www.nww.usace.army.mil; Orofino City Hall at 217 First Street, Orofino, Idaho; Clearwater County Courthouse, 150 Michigan Avenue, Orofino, Idaho: and Recorder’s Office, Room 100, Nez Perce County Courthouse, 1230 Main Street, Lewiston, Idaho.

To learn more about the Corps of Engineers and its mission in the Walla Walla District, see the District website at www.nww.usace.army.mil.

Historical Dworshak Documents and Photos (2/21)

Here is the official announcement and page:

The Dworshak Dam Collection


The collection holds images and documents that detail the physical, cultural, and legislative histories of the Dworshak Dam, which is located on the North Fork of the Clearwater River, about four miles from Orofino, Idaho. These items come largely from the collection of A.B. Curtis, former mayor of Orofino, and span the years 1952 to 1972. Highlights from the collection include photographs of the area before the Dam was constructed, angry letters from people whose homes or birthplaces were displaced (flooded) during the development, and letters, transcripts, speeches and notes that detail all the work that went into getting the proposal for the dam through local (chambers of commerce, public hearings) and national (U.S. Senate and House) processes of approval.

The items in this collection can be accessed via map, subject tag cloud, timeline, and image gallery. The image gallery on the first tab is set up so that you can browse selected documents and photographs in chronological order, so as to get a sense of the Dam’s development. Also note that if you’d like to browse all the images and documents using the same image gallery application, you simply need to click on the ‘View All’ button below the collection search box.

Thank you,

Devin Becker


The Western Waters Digital Library has posted a collection of documents, letters and old photos of the Dworshak Dam project. Some interesting correspondence, photos of the site before the dam, during construction and dedication ceremony. The collection also documents news paper articles, the originals were scanned and made available for viewing on this site.

There are pictures of the ground breaking, scanned pamphlets about the benefits of the dam, some pictures around Orofino, correspondence for and against the dam. A note on the back of one of the photos, "We had an organization about town to raise money for the effort in getting the dam. Here is a banner across the street."

The pictures start on the page 21 but I recommend looking at a few of the documents also.

General Info for Fisherman and Visitors (2/12)

The DRA receives regular requests from folks thinking of visiting Dworshak for the recreation and fishing. I decided it be a good idea to post my last response. Thanks to Deb Norton of the Corps and to my fisherman friend Vern for contributing to the information.

I contacted a fisherman friend of mine and the Corps of Engineers to get up to the date info.

Here is what Deb Norton, Corps Ranger had to offer (Deborah.A.Norton@usace.army.mil)

Bass fishing can be excellent, but tricky to get used to fishing very steep banks and fishing deep. Not sure but suspect you fish Brownlee in a similar manner. It usually picks up as the water warms near 59 degrees and the females start to nest. Water temps from the face of the dam can be obtained from the COE Dworshak website.


Timing all depends on the weather, but usually May time frame. The lake has Crappies and I have seen 10- 14" taken, but I have not figured them out so no great help here. Kokanee fishing starts near the dam in Mar/April and slowly moves up the
reservoir as the season progresses. Fishing near Dent Acres campground/bridge is usually best late June and into July.
Might try calling local bait shop and talking to Fred Hoffman at Camp Cabin and Home, 208-476-5701, I know he spends a lot of time chasing bass on the lake.

Dent Acres Campground opens seasonally on April 4 and for a full service site (water, electric and sewer) is $10.00 per night ($5.00 per night if you have a Golden Age or America the Beautiful senior pass). Starting on May 23, the campground will be $18.00 per night and $9.00 if you have any of the above listed passes. The passes are only good for one site (i.e. you can't pay for your buddies sites at the 1/2 off price). The campground is first come first served throughout the entire season.


My fisherman friend had this to offer:

I don't feel that I am by any means an expert at fishing Dworshak Reservoir. You know me, I don't always catch fish, but do enjoy the fishing. One thing for sure, I feel a good fish finder is a must for fishing the Reservoir.

There are good numbers of large sized smallmouth bass in Dworshak. (Very few of them caught by me.) I have seen a number of 5 lb + bass caught by other fisherman using the same rigging that I use. I like fishing with Carolina rigged plastic worms or tossing grubs. I know a number of good fisherman that also use drop shot rigging with small plastic minnows. Plugs also do well for them. Most of the bigger bass they catch are in 40 to 80 feet of water regardless of the time of year or water level. You can catch bass from the Dam to the headwaters. Generally, the bass fishing is better from Elk Creek upstream to the Little North Fork.

I have caught nice sized crappy while fishing for bass at the confluences of Canyon Creek and Indian Creek; Elk Creek (upstream of the speed limit markers); and in Magnus Bay.

Kokanee average 7 inches in the early spring and will grow 10 to 11 inches by the 4th of July. Schools of kokanee can be found from the Dam to Benton Creek. After the 4th of July the schools keg up toward the middle of the Reservoir, and start their journey up Dworshak. I like to take my grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and their friends trolling for kokanee. It doesn't seem to matter what we use as long as we are fishing at the proper depth; it involves a flasher or flashers; and the hook is tipped with a maggot or maggots. Usually, we have our best luck toward the end of June. Numerous times we have caught kokanee from the Bruces Eddy and Big Eddy boat launch to wherever.

Fish and Game stocks Dworshak with rainbow trout. Most are 10 to 14 inches. There is not a lot of feed for the smaller rainbow so they tend to get a bit skinny. Rainbow size as well as fishing does improve as you move up the Reservoir.

The only gas on the lake is at Big Eddy just up from the dam and it is seasonally open from like April thru Sept. It is run by the Idaho State PArks folks / Dworshak State park. You can contact the State Park. The contact there is Charley Chase cchase@idpr.idaho.gov

There are NO SERVICES of any kind other than the seasonal gas at the marina

I have had folks boat up and ask where the closest gas is when they were 40 miles up lake. Not a good situation. But that is part of the beauty of Dworshak.

Also ask where are the shoreline restaurants? Not on the lake, Ahsaka is the closest and the rest in Orofino.

The lake is drawn down most of the year making shore access tough, long ramps.

The water level and temp links are on the front page of the DRA site. http://www.dworshak.org/

Dent is the Corps of Engineers camp you access from Orofino. You can also use Dworshak State Park again access from Orofino.


Both of these are long drives in with basically no services once you leave Orofino

It is a quick (20 to 30 minutes ) boat ride from either of those camps to Big Eddy Marina (just up lake from dam) or Bruces Eddy (just down lake from dam (left side) Bruces access has two ramps, the big good one is open seasonally because of draw down and the other is open year long but has an S turn (engineers????)

When the water is more than 60 feet down a lower parking lot becomes useable at Big Eddy.

What I am getting at is if I did this in a group I would consider staging a vehicle at Big Eddy or Bruces if you anticipate going to town for anything. You can tie a boat to the shore and make a quick run into town. Beats the long drive by road.

Here is a link to Clearwater Bass Anglers the folks listed with phone numbers could probably talk fish with you

If you have more questions please email the DRA or the lead Park Ranger Deb Norton at: 208-476-1256 at the Corps of Engineers.



Corps of Engineers and Sheriff Department Look for Full Time Towing Business

The Corps and the Sheriff's Office would like to find some one interested in operating a full time boat tow / retrieval operation that would be available 24 / 7 for Dworshak Reservoir. You would be a private business on call as needed. Set your own rates and bill accordingly as I understand it. Contact Paul Pence at the Dworshak Offices in Ahsaka and I would talk to Clearrwater County Marine Deputy Mike Gladhart for more information.

Dworshak Park Ranger Letter to the Editor

You may have seen or heard about Corps of Engineers recreation budget reductions in the coming fiscal year including some changes at Dworshak Reservoir. Our primary recreation mandate is to maintain access to water-based recreation facilities, and we’ll continue to do that to the best of our abilities. Here’s how we plan to continue to serve our visitors in the midst of budget reductions.

We plan to keep Dent Acres boat ramp open, and we’re doing our best within budget limits to keep the Dent Acres campground open and maintained in the same excellent, clean, safe condition as in the past. We truly could use some help—volunteers are needed, and it really does help if you “pack it in, pack it out” with your trash.

As planned, starting in 2012, Dent Acres will seasonally switch to an unreserved “first-come, first-first served” campground through hunting season. Next year, campers won’t be able to reserve campsites using the ReserveUSA.com reservation service, which we have to discontinue. We could really use some more volunteers for maintenance and other chores, and let me add our big “thanks” to those that are already part of our great volunteer staff.

No changes are planned in campsite fees, but we will no longer able to take credit cards- only cash or checks will be accepted.  We will still accept the Golden Age Passport and the America the Beautiful Senior Pass for discounts. We will take phone reservations for the Dent Acres Group Camp and sun shelter, but not for the main campground.  You can always call us to see how full we are—call the Visitor Center at 208-476-1255 or try the Dent Acres booth at 208-476-9029. 

Individuals and organizations can volunteer. Just contact Paul Pence at 208-476-1258 or me at 208-476-1256.

One more thing. We do count visitors to our recreation sites, and visitation numbers are one factor in calculating the following year’s budget. So visit your favorite Dworshak recreation site, come see us at the Visitor Center, or participate in our special events this coming year. We always look forward to seeing you.

Deb Norton, Lead Ranger
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir

Interesting Boats on the Reservoir

Check out the wood and bright work on this 1972 Skiff Craft. They still are manufactured out of Plain City, Ohio. Beautiful wood boat. Original interior. Marvelous cruiser.

Then along comes a C Dory. One stout seaworthy boat.

Dog Days of Summer

Janet and Bella cool off from the 90+ heat this weekend. Safety first, life jacket is on!


Indian Creek Dock Gets Helping Hands

The president of the DRA, Ed, tightens cleats and table bolts while his friends Wa Ming and Connie clean up after some ill mannered sea gulls.

Great job folks!

Weird Water Fowl

This strange and very friendly bird is hanging out in the marina area. It will come right up to you to feed on corn chips and wag it's tail like a happy dog?It is a Muscovy Duck http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muscovy_Duck and word is his name is Chester.


Crew finds interesting creature in Dworshak

With the size of Dworshak Reservoir, there is always the possibility of finding something interesting and that was the case for the maintenance crew recently in the Elk Creek area.

They were just below the no-wake zone and saw some rather impressive floating debris the fish they saw as 33 inches long and 8 inches deep as is evidenced in the photos below.





Dave Parrish identified it as a rainbow trout hybrid that has a case of scoliosis (curvature of the spine). "Rarely do you see scoliosis in this large of fish, but it is common in rainbow trout 3 inches or less in length. Some of the discoloration is due to the fish being dead for a period of time prior to the photo being taken."

We have other reports of some large Crappie also being found in the lake!


Restoration Project

I have little information. They were testing for leaks, it leaked bad. It has a 4 cylinder diesel engine. Reminded me of the African Queen movie with Hepburn and Bogart! The trailer and boat weighed 6,800 pounds! It was at the Bruce's Eddy ramp this weekend.

Old Boat




Old Boat


Paul J. Pence
Natural Resources Manager
Dworshak Dam and Reservoir
Nancy Knapik
Admin Services Asst.
Dworshak Project
PO Box 48
Ahsahka, ID 83520
(208) 476-1268
(208) 476-1272  Fax


Fall rainbow. Looking from Merry's Bay toward the marina.


Sunset from Merry's Bay over the Marina
Big Eddy Marina
Looks sooooo.... nice when it is full. Not too many boats yet!

New Dworshak Maps

The Corps has recently released a new visitor map for the reservoir. I have them posted for your viewing. The map comes in two parts in PDF format. You can zoom in for details! The maps have the Camps, Destination Docks, Safe Harbor Docks, Floating Rest Rooms, Trails, Roads, Phone Numbers and Ramp Useable Water Elevations along with other info. Very nice maps! They are large files and may take a moment to load.

West Map (Dam) 742 KB PDF
East Map (Grandad) 475 KB PDF

Great Weather Web Site

Just want to share a NOAA weather web site that has time line graphs of temps, windchill, dewpoint, humidity, wind speed, direction, gusts, precip potential, sky cover, thunder, rain possibility and rain amount! All on one easy to read page. You can get the info for a specific area. Check out the point forecast graphs for Orofino.

Update - 6/16 - I was provided this site as another good Dworshak weather info page, has the data from the station at Dent!

Dent-Dworshak Agrimet Station


Boat and recreation on a destination dock
Destination Dock
- Summer will be here soon!


Dworshak - The Boat

You may see this boat on the lake. The boat is an old Coast Guard boat from Humboldt Bay in California.  It was of the first designed to rollover in high surf and right itself.

Corps Work Boat Corps Work Boat  

The Coast Guard excessed the boat and it was picked up by the local Corps in 1999 and named The Dworshak.  It has been modified with a push knee and both diesel engines heads were rebuilt..  This boat serves as "Tug" power to push and pull very heavy items on the lake.  It does have a tendency to lean quite a bit under heavy load and make a very large wake.


Photos and News

As boating season gets under way, the web site activity will pick up. If you have an idea, question, news or if you have some photos of Dworshak activities you would like to see on the web please send them to me with a story line for posting consideration. DRA

Water Temperature Web Site

I was provided a link to Dworshak water temps by the Corps. It appears the the last update was in December but hopefully there will be an update soon. My reading this weekend had the water about 45 degree F at one foot down at the marina.

Spring Rainbow on the Lake
Photo by Paul Pence

July Sunset

Merry's Bay Destination Dock

DRA Funding Reminder

If you enjoy Dworshak and / or would like to help enhance the recreation on the lake, your donation to the non- profit Dworshak Reservoir Association (DRA) in any amount would be appreciated.  All funds will be used to enhance recreation on the lake. Some local businesses have donated substantial sums; some folks choose the  $5.00 annual membership. We are slowly growing. Donations can be made to the Dworshak Reservoir Association account at the American West bank in Orofino (American West Bank, 100 Main St, Orofino, ID 83544) or mailed to the DRA at 12894 Hartford Ave, Orofino, Idaho, 83544. We would like to acknowledge your participation, however let us know if you wish to remain anonymous.

Corps Watch Program Implemented

There are now signs posted around the lake with information about possible rewards up to $1000 for information leading to the prosecution of any one vandalizing the federal or state facilities and land that completely border the reservoir. The number to call is 1-800-413-7970. Callers can remain anonymous.

Corps Watch Poster




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