Yakima’s Annual Flip Flop Attracts Water Lovers
The annual flip flop in the Yakima basin gets underway soon and that means lots of people who love to ride the rapids are busy on the Tieton River along Highway 12. The Osprey Rafting Company one of many companies operating on the river has a long history of giving people a great experience on the water and they'll be doing it again this year.
It's a lot of fun but it's really all about the fish
The flip flop in the basin happens by reducing flows out of the Keechelus and Cle Elum reservoirs in the upper Yakima River basin and increasing flows out of the Kachess and Rimrock Reservoir affecting flows in the Tieton and Naches rivers. Officials with the Bureau of Reclamation say the purpose of the "flip-flop" operation is to maintain relatively low flows in the spring Chinook salmon spawning areas in the upper Yakima, Cle Elum and Bumping rivers. The lower river flows can then be maintained during the winter and successfully keep the egg nests under water. the operation also reduces impacts on irrigation water supply by keeping reservoirs as full as possible for the next season.
Be careful if you are around specific areas of the spillways
A press release from the Bureau of Reclamation says "Reclamation will begin diverting water down the Kittitas Reclamation District’s Spillway into the Yakima River near Thorp after Labor Day weekend. Buoys and warning signs will be in place in the Yakima River by Sept. 8 and remain until mid-October, after the flow from Spillway ends. Reclamation urges those recreating or working along Yakima basin rivers to exercise caution, especially in the Yakima River near Thorp. Please avoid areas where spillway water flows into the river, portage around buoys, and stay out of dangerously turbulent flows."