Forest Service to resume work on Upper Truckee River Reach 5

Published: May 05, 2016

South Lake Tahoe, Calif.—May 5, 2016—The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit in collaboration with the California Tahoe Conservancy will resume work on the Upper Truckee River Reach 5 Restoration Project on June 13, 2016. This will be the final year of the four-year construction project to replace the existing stream channel with a new channel that is more stable and is connected to the adjacent floodplain, which will provide better aquatic habitat, support a healthier meadow ecosystem, and reduce the amount of fine sediment that reaches Lake Tahoe.

The first stage of the work will involve the installation of a temporary bridge beginning June 13, 2016. The bridge will be located approximately 5,000 feet downstream from the U.S. Highway 50 crossing at Elks Club Drive near Meyers in El Dorado County. During bridge installation, which is expected to last two weeks, passage underneath the bridge will not be possible and boaters will need to remove their vessels from the river and carry them around the bridge. Once
bridge installation is complete, boaters will be able to float underneath the bridge until the river is diverted on July 11, 2016.

Beginning June 27, 2016, the second stage of work will involve construction of a temporary access road and installation of temporary boundary fencing in the meadow area. Once these structures are in place, construction of the new channel will resume. For public safety, the Forest Service will issue a forest closure order closing the project area to pedestrians from June 27 through October 14, 2016. The forest order will be posted at when it becomes available.

The final stage of the work will begin on July 11, 2016, and will involve diverting the river around the construction area to protect water quality and allow construction of the new channel to be completed. At this time, boaters will be prohibited from entering the construction area upstream from the project. Signs will be posted at the Elks Club Drive boat launch location notifying boaters of the closure and a barrier will be strung across the river upstream from the temporary bridge to prevent boaters from going further. Fishing will also be prohibited in the construction area during water diversions. Fish will be relocated from within the project area into the Upper Truckee River both up and downstream from the construction. The closure will remain in place until October 14, 2016.

Although this year’s boating season will be affected by the project, it is anticipated that the project will improve boating conditions in future years. The new river channel will be smaller than the existing channel so the water depth will be deeper and allow for longer boating seasons in the future.

A map of the closure area and more information on the project can be found at