Sunrise light on a grove of tufa towers emerging from the water of Mono Lake with soft green and dusty-red wild grasses in the foreground, Canada geese in the shallow water with reflections of the rocky towers, and desert hills in the distance.

Interns visit a fast-flowing Mill Creek

Mono Lake Committee interns visit Mill Creek at the Cemetary Road culvert.

Earlier this week, Eastern Sierra Policy Director Lisa Cutting took the Committee’s seasonal staff to the north Mono Basin to learn about the region’s complicated plumbing. They braved rain and sleet to visit Lundy Lake Reservoir, the Lundy power plant, the ditches and waterways that irrigate ranches, and Mill Creek, following the water toward Mono Lake.

On Tuesday afternoon when the group visited Lundy Lake Reservoir, it wasn’t spilling yet, but by Wednesday morning the spillway was full of water and Mill Creek was running at over 75 cubic feet per second. Wednesday night’s cool temperatures caused the flow to decrease, but as temperatures climb again going into this holiday weekend, more water will likely swell Mill Creek again.

Lisa Cutting explains the complicated north Mono Basin plumbing from Conway Summit.

Water is flowing fast all over the Mono Basin as this past winter’s considerable snowpack melts and makes its way toward Mono Lake. This is good news—Mono Lake is on the rise!

Committee interns Mila, Oliver, Sarah, Julia, Erik, Abby, and Canoe Coordinator Russ near Black Point. Photos by Russ Taylor.