According to the Nev. Dept. of Wildlife (NDOW), it is advising waterfowl hunters below normal water supplies this summer will negatively impact wetland habitat conditions and waterfowl hunting opportunities at the Carson Lake and Pasture this fall.
A variety of factors, including a below normal snowpack and the mid-winter rupture of the Truckee Canal near Fernley, has resulted in below normal water supplies for the Lahontan Valley. Earlier this summer, the Truckee Carson Irrigation District (TCID) announced that water users in the Valley would receive 75% of the normal water allocation and that water deliveries would be ceased during the month of September due to extremely low water levels in Lahontan Reservoir.
As a result of the 75% allocation from TCID, NDOW will receive approximately 5,190 acre feet (AF) of its total prime water right of 7,108 acre feet of water.
The decreased irrigation activity throughout the Valley will also result in decreased flows of drain and return water flows that typically provide a significant amount of water for the wetland complex.
The one bright spot that should be noted is that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USF&WS) has generously agreed to provide 750 AF of their prime water for use at Carson Lake, thereby increasing the total delivery of prime water to the wetland complex to 5,940 acre feet.
Pat Kelly of NDOW said it that only the Spring Pond Unit will have water for the youth waterfowl hunt day and the regular opening day of duck season.
"It's too bad. Unless we get some unusual levels of precipitation in the early fall, we are looking at less than good wetland conditions this fall."
Hunters are encouraged to seek information on wetland conditions prior to venturing to the Carson Lake area as well as other wetlands in this region by contacting NDOW at (775) 463-2741.