Reservoir Operation For Statutory Purposes

The Corps of Engineers of the Department of the Army plans and constructs authorized flood control and multiple-purpose reservoirs under the general provisions of the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1944 and other legislation authorizing specific reservoir projects. The 1944 Act delegates to the Secretary of the Army responsibility for prescribing regulations for the use of flood control or navigation storage at all reservoirs, except those of the TVA, constructed wholly or in part with Federal funds. Effective functional operation of reservoirs is a most important factor in insuring that they accomplish the purposes for which they were designed and produce the benefits which justified their construction. Flood control, navigation, and power development, singly or in combination, are the major purposes for which reservoir projects have usually been authorized in Southeastern United States. Where uses of reservoir sites for agriculture, forestry, fish and wildlife conservation, and recreation were not inconsistent with the project operation for its authorized purposes, they were developed as an active part of the project. The management of the fishery resource of a Federal reservoir is recognized as the responsibility of the state(s) in which the project is located. The Corps of Engineers cooperates with states to the extent possible in operating water levels for fishery benefits. Water-level management on reservoirs operated primarily for flood control is generally compatible with fish-management programs. Regulation schedules on multiple-purpose reservoirs are not subject to drastic changes for fishery purposes, but minor seasonal modifications are sometimes possible. Abnormal water levels during floods or droughts offer other opportunities for executing desirable fish management practices. Fishery personnel are urged to consider fully in their management plans the physical, operational, and economical limitations of individual reservoirs.

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