Originally Posted by PhilipJFry
there's no dams on it, and it runs year round. as long as the lakes have water, the river will run. it's been really strong the last few weeks, I'm sure it'll be fine in the next few days as well.
What? There is a dam on Cascade Reservoir, so they do control the releases on the North Fork. This is a tough water year in Idaho, but usually this is how it goes:
The South Fork is fed by spring run off early in the season while the North Fork remains relatively low (unless it's an average or better water year).
Once the South Fork natural runoff starts to drop, the Deadwood Dam starts releasing to augment South Fork flows. Usually about this time, the North Fork is fully ramped up. The South Fork is usually the first river to be cut back by the end of August. The North Fork will generally run close to the end of September.
The whole thing is all about irrigation and maintaining flows in the Main Payette. Who knows what will happen this year because it's such a lousy water year....