Big Bear, Ca, December, 22, 2010, 10:00am - At 9:20 AM this morning the Big Bear Municipal Water District began releasing 250 cfs (cubic feet per second) or 112,000 gallons per minute from the dam. The Lake level had reached 14 inches below spillway elevation. The objective of the release is to prevent the Lake from reaching less than one foot from spilling to reduce the potential for flooding low lying properties surrounding the Lake. Contacts have been made with downstream interests including the California Department of Fish and Game, operators of Seven Oaks Dam, Bear Valley Mutual Water Company, San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District, San Bernardino County Water Conservation District, Orange County Flood Control District, Southern California Edison, Army Corps of Engineers and others. The contractor at the new bridge project below the dam, Flatiron Construction, was also notified. Flood control Lake releases have not occurred since 1996. The length of the release will be dictated by Lake level movement and the ongoing storm conditions. Additional information will be made available late this afternoon.