A bit of water relief for Nevada in 2016. Winter snow and spring rains provided near normal water levels in the Carson River watershed this year, which was more promising than the past few years. However, we are still in a drought and a hot dry summer with no measurable precipitation since May has changed our water outlook.
The Truckee-Carson Irrigation District conducted a special meeting in August to consider conditions that may apply to the current water delivery season. The allocation remains at 75% through the end of the season, with deliveries expected to end mid-September. However, further adjustments could be made by the district at any time as the summer progresses
For the most part, Stillwater NWR has seen a positive impact on wildlife, migratory birds and public use with the additional water this year. Sanctuary wetlands still hold the most water with migrating shorebirds, waders and waterfowl benefitting from the increase in habitat.
In the hunt area, Goose Lake will have the only water available for waterfowl season.
Wildlife-dependent recreation permitted at Stillwater NWR includes: wildlife observation, hunting (in season), environmental education, interpretation and photography. Please remember that Wildlife Comes First on a refuge, so if your actions cause animals to move, sound alarms or change their behavior, then you are creating a disturbance and should move away or modify your actions. Wildlife harassment is harmful and illegal.
Click this link for the Great Basin drought monitoring website, which has lots of other links for water and drought information. Another good site with information is the Great Basin water network Nevada drought forum. Finally, the NRCS in Nevada posts historical records of water and snowpack across the state.
The link below (Learn More) shows the most current map of refuge wetlands. Water is now flowing north of Division Road into the Goose Lake unit, within the refuge hunt area. Click here for the latest updates on water levels and flows within Stillwater NWR as conditions change weekly during the irrigation season.