MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- As we creep into the 100-degree temperatures this week, many will flock to Salt River to take a dip in the cool water. And those who are familiar with the area may notice something different about the water levels.

We had such a wet winter that you may think the Salt River levels would be higher than usual. Well, the opposite turns out to be true for the first part of the summer, at least.

[WATCH: Winter runoff impact water levels of Arizona's Salt River]

"I would imagine if someone goes there year after year, they'll notice flows are less now," said Charlie Ester, a surface water resources manager with SRP.

He said they have to drain Horseshoe Reservoir as part of their Habitat Conservation Plan.

"Reduce the level down to essentially zero to eliminate the non-native fish in the reservoir so they won't predate on the native fish in the river system," Ester said.

As a result, there won't be as much Salt River release until that reservoir is down mid-summer.

"All of the recreation interests should be very happy at that point," Ester said. "Until that point, they probably won't think SRP is too great, but we're doing what's legally required of us."

He said the water supply is in great shape thanks to the winter runoff, and around the third week of July or so, it will be an entirely different story.

"We'll see a dramatic increase in the flows, probably more than double what they are now," Ester said. "The water will become not only deeper, but swifter, much more dangerous."

In an email, Lynda Breault with Salt River Tubing & Recreation told us that "water flow levels at this time are perfect for tubing from Pt #2 - #4." She also said they are expecting a great summer of floating.

Award-winning journalist Lindsey Reiser is a regular contributor in the evenings on CBS 5 News at 10 p.m.
 
 


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