Sheriffs warn of low water levels at Shoshone Falls Dam

The Sheriff’s Department is encouraging residents and visitors to avoid the area and go to other places in Twin Falls County
Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 11:38 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —The Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office advising people for the time being to use caution when recreating near Shoshone Falls Dam.

The sheriff’s department recently posted on their Facebook page that the water levels near Shoshone Falls public boat ramp are extremely low, and the potential for accidents, like hitting submerged rocks, are high. At this point in time, they are encouraging residents and visitors to avoid the area and go to other places in Twin Falls County if they are looking to jet ski or wake surf.

Low water levels
Low water levels(SK)

“A [water] level that I have really never seen before. It is hard knowing what other dangers might be underneath the water that could potentially cause issues with high rates of speed,” said Sergeant Ken Mencl.

He said during a typical year they respond to incidents where someone’s boat motor failed or the current was too strong for someone to get back to the ramp. However, the levels are low enough to where it is impossible to launch a motorized boat, including any of the sheriff’s department’s rescue boats, with the exception of an inflatable paddle craft.

“It would require several people being able to lift it off the trailer and walk it down into the water, and being able to conduct our rescue operation from there,” said Mencl. “It’s not the fastest boat we have obviously, and we are limited on capacity on how many people we can put in the boat/ Those limitations we don’t have with our larger rescue boats.”

He said the water levels are down two to three feet due to Idaho Power doing soil erosion mitigation efforts in the area. Mencl said they are fixing some of the damage that has been created by the river and the flows that come through the area

“Speaking with Idaho Power they have told us this erosion process, mitigating the erosion that is going on will conclude sometime mid-October,” Mencl said.

There are a few favorable weekends left in Twin Falls that will be attracting people to the waterways. The sheriff’s department is asking people to be responsible and please avoid the Shoshone Falls public boat ramp area.

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