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 Post subject: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 10:54 am 
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A couple of pictures from last evening on the West Branch. Power House problems caused the shutoff of water for several hours. Unfortunately, it's not an uncommon problem, happens every couple of years. Things were back to normal by 9 PM.

Thanks to Sarah Sindo for the pictures.

Attachment:
Dry Crib Works.jpg
Dry Crib Works.jpg [ 142.26 KiB | Viewed 3275 times ]

For those familiar with the Cribworks, this is a totally different view.

Attachment:
dry Eddy.jpg
dry Eddy.jpg [ 84.68 KiB | Viewed 3275 times ]

Big eddy is looking like little eddy.

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 11:12 am 
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Al.....

Remember when Great Northern did xactly that on Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend, and Labir Day weekend every year? I can remember (literally) tens of thousands of Salmonfly nymph heading down to what was left of the flow. It looked like the very ground was movin.

Dave M

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 12:34 pm 
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Dave M wrote:
Al.....

Remember when Great Northern did xactly that on Memorial Day weekend, July 4th weekend, and Labir Day weekend every year? I can remember (literally) tens of thousands of Salmonfly nymph heading down to what was left of the flow. It looked like the very ground was movin.

Dave M


We've seen that happen several times. There must be a million stonefly nymphs in Big Eddy.

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 1:04 pm 
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I bet those stoneflies are a big of a food source as the smelt... they are a chunky bite of protein.

Nice pocket water through the crib works... who knew, huh?

Would be cool to snorkle through the eddy with the fish that must be absolutley packed in there.

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 2:11 pm 
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We need drone footage. :wink: :)

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 20th, 2017, 8:13 pm 
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The lighting almost make the pictures look as if they were B&W and then colorized. Very nice shots. I can imagine the fish hanging on the edges gorging on the nymphs trying to stay wet.

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 21st, 2017, 7:57 am 
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1weight wrote:
The lighting almost make the pictures look as if they were B&W and then colorized. Very nice shots. I can imagine the fish hanging on the edges gorging on the nymphs trying to stay wet.


The photographer, Sarah Sindo, is a gifted amateur/semi pro. She uses top of the line equipment (not a cell phone) so her work is exceptional. Sarah works at the campground all summer and then at Sugarloaf for the winter.

http://www.thepicta.com/user/sarah.rose8/20147151

https://www.facebook.com/sarah.sindo.5? ... ED&fref=nf

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 21st, 2017, 1:27 pm 
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Joined: May 8th, 2011, 8:20 pm
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I was up there Sunday through 11 am yesterday so just missed this, amazing. That happened two Septembers ago when I was up there, right at dusk. The river literally disappeared from under me, it was a very surreal thing seeing such a dramatic change in a major habitat within minutes, downright spooky. The fishing was pretty good, and I predict black flies and mosquitos until Jan 1. Would it be greedy to say I would have liked to catch a few less salmon and a few more brookies though? :mrgreen:

God those brookies are beautiful on that water.


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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 24th, 2017, 11:06 pm 
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I did a little research on the FERC website. This seems to be a recurring problem--or at least one that also occurred last year.

So far as I can tell, Brookfield has not yet reported the June event that Al witnessed this year.

However, I did find a bunch of back and forth correspondence between Brookfield and FERC about a similar event that happened on May 13, 2016. Brookfield reported that to FERC on May 23 last year. The event was caused by a problem on a powerline, which caused the dam to shut down. When that happens, there is supposed to be an automatic system that provides a minimum flow of 400 cfs (compared to normal operating flows in the 2000+ cfs range). That back up system failed, and flows last May dropped to 200 cfs for a couple of hours until Brookfield staff got up there to open a gate.

There was a pretty detailed plan for repairs so this wouldn't happen again, but the repairs could not be tested last year because Ripogenous Lake was so low. Brookfield's next report to FERC about the repairs, which presumable will include testing of the repaired system, is due by June 30.

There is also a back and forth event about a similar event from June 2015. I would have looked farther back in the record, but the FERC website went down so I couldn't look farther back in the record.

It will be interesting to see if the event Al witnessed gets reported. Technically, it appears that if the back-up system worked and maintained a flow of 400 cfs, they are in compliance with the license so long as they return to normal flows within 3 days. Even when the flow drops below 400 cfs, FERC has sent letters saying this is "not a violation" but requiring Brookfield to take corrective actions. Seems to me like something more is needed, as this problem keeps happening.


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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 24th, 2017, 11:39 pm 
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FERC website just came back up.

Similar events (flow dropped below 400 cfs) in August 2015 and June 2015. For reference, the normal minimum flow is 2000 cfs.


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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 25th, 2017, 4:12 pm 
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I'm shocked that minimum flow in the FERC license isn't actual minimum flow. What is the point of having a minimum flow standard if there are repercussions if it's not followed? In this day of technology- you'd think they'd have an automated system that would detect such powerline system failures and trigger a gate to open.

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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 26th, 2017, 8:20 am 
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Not sure what was worse- the shutdown on the deluge that went on concurrent with it. Holy crap it did rain. The combination of the rain and the shut down screwed up the fish on Tuesday I think though. i was there from Saturday until Friday- solid fishing all week.


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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: June 27th, 2017, 2:34 pm 
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boy I've lost a few flies up there over the years now's the time to look for them


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 Post subject: Re: West Branch Shutdown
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2018, 3:34 pm 
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Thanks


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