OKANOGAN — More water will be released into the Okanogan River this year due to higher than normal water levels in Lake Osoyoos.

The state Department of Ecology is starting its fall drawdown on the lake, but the agency stored some additional water this year due to the declared drought, according to a state Department of Ecology news release.

The additional water will give the agency an opportunity to do some high-flow flushes of the Okanogan River to remove sediment that clogs gravel at the bottom of the river, which salmon use to spawn.

Residents downstream of Zosel Dam will want to be aware and cautious while the high flow flushes are occurring, according to the news release. The agency will increase flows to 1,200 cubic feet per second (CFS) for one or two days this week. Right now, the Okanogan River is at 890 CFS, according to state Department of Ecology data.

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