Ask Zimo: Check webcam for a real-time look at Shoshone Falls

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comMay 22, 2014 

  • HEY ZIMO!
    IDEAS FROM READERS

    RECYCLING SKIS

    Hey Zimo!

    Presently we don't have any drop off sites in Boise for recycling skis (Ask Zimo, March 27), but if skiers would like, they can ship any unwanted equipment at their expense to the Snow Sports Recycling Programs processor at: Waste-Not Recycling, 1065 Poplar St., Johnstown, CO 80534.

    For more information you can go to the SSRP website at snowsrp.org.

    GREG SCHNEIDER, Snow Sports Recycling program manager, via email

    FISH GUTS

    Hey Zimo!

    We might be able to detour people from gutting their fish on the bank by telling them it's against the law! (Fish Rap, April 24).

    PAT PRITCHARD, via email

    WILDFLOWER BOOK

    Hey Zimo!

    Nice job on today's article (Finding Foothills flowers, April 17).

    If you haven't already checked it out, there was a great field guide published about a year ago entitled "A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills." It costs $6.

    Common wildflowers of Southern Idaho, $10. new version, $5 old version.

    Interagency Visitor Center, 1387 S. Vinnell Way.

    You can purchase it at D&B Supply on Glenwood and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management office BLM office off Overland but not many other places.

    It's a pocket guide that helps users identify flowers, grasses, and shrubs while on the trails and it's loaded with cool facts and such.

    Here's the link to the online version: healthyhills.org/images/Others/BoiseFoothillsPlantGuide.pdf

    SCOTT KOBERG, via email

    NOTE: I checked into the books and also found that in addition to "A Field Guide to Plants of the Boise Foothills," there is another book that might be helpful.

    "Common Wildflowers of Southern Idaho," is also available at the Interagency Visitor Center, 1387 S. Vinnell Way in Boise. It's $10 for the new version and $5 for the old version.

Q: There was an article in the Statesman a couple of weeks ago about Shoshone Falls being fully covered with water.

Could you tell me if that is occurring now, and for how long?

ALBERTA SCHROEDER, Boise

A: It's not running high because of irrigation demands upstream, but there is still a decent amount of water going over the falls for waterfall watching.

Actually, some of my better photos were taken at lower flows with more rocks, cliffs and other features exposed.

High water is fun, especially with the thunderous roar echoing through the canyon and the huge spray of water, but seeing the falls at any flow is breathtaking.

There's a really neat webcam where you can watch the falls in real time and decide if you want to go to see them.

Go to shoshonefalls.tfid.org/live.htm.

Currently, most of the water being released from the Upper Snake reservoirs is being used for irrigation.

Higher flows aren't expected until next month when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation releases more water from upstream reservoirs to help young salmon and steelhead get down the Snake and Columbia rivers to the Pacific Ocean.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is required to release 427,000 acre-feet of water from the Upper Snake each year to help the downstream fish migration.

The timing of that release varies from year to year based on weather and other factors. The Snake River should rise to make room in the upstream reservoirs for spring runoff. The upper Snake River had above-average snowpack, and that will start flushing downstream with warmer temperatures.

There's always a balance between water releases for irrigation, flood control and fish migration, which makes river flows hard to predict, but you can check the website and see if it's worth the trip.

Shoshone Falls is always a treat to visiting relatives. It's called the "Niagara of the West," and is actually 52 feet higher than its famous New York counterpart.

Getting there: You can get there by driving east on I-84 and taking the Twin Falls exit south off Interstate 84 and drive through Twin Falls following the signs to the falls.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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