Bighorn releases to hit 7,000cfs this weekend

Friends:

In an effort to control the rate of fill, which seems to be a real and perpetual struggle the last eight years and made worse when starting runoff with inadequate available storage), Reclamation is making the following changes to Bighorn releases:

On Friday at 8pm, river releases will increase 750cfs, bringing releases from 5,500cfs to 6,250cfs.
On Saturday at 8pm, river releases will increase another 750cfs, bringing releases from 6,250cfs to 7,000cfs.

Note these changes will be made a 8pm both evenings.

Bighorn releases to jump another 1,000cfs, maybe more

Friends:

I will dispense with any commentary for the moment, and just lay things out.

In what is becoming an annoying, annual occurrence, a fairly routine spring weather event which occurred in the southern basin is forcing Reclamation to increase releases to the Bighorn to keep pace with releases from Boysen Reservoir.

Tomorrow at 4pm, releases to the Bighorn will increase 500cfs.
Thursday at 4pm, releases to the Bighorn will increase another 500cfs.

It is of interest to note that the first 500cfs and 225cfs of the second bump will be run through the river outlet. Expect water temperatures to gradually rise subsequent to these releases.

Please continue to report river and algae conditions, but it is not necessary to continue with rainbow spawning activity reports.

Slight change to Wednesday’s Bighorn releases schedule

Reclamation has made a small change in plans for releases tomorrow.

Instead of two bumps of 250cfs (one in the morning and one in the afternoon), there will be just one bump at 4pm of 500cfs.

A big thanks to those who called or wrote with spawning reports. Those reports convinced FWP that it was OK to have one slightly larger release rather than two smaller ones, and they passed this along to Reclamation. This makes anglers and guides much happier, too, as the morning bump seems to always put the fishing down for the day.

Special thanks to Reclamation and WAPA for making this important accommodation!

Bighorn release to jump another 1,000cfs to 4,000cfs by Wednesday

Friends:

Reclamation is telling us that “inflow forecasts indicate the release to the Bighorn Rover needs to be increased”.

Therefore, look for releases to jump 250cfs twice a day for two days starting tomorrow. Bumps will occur at 8am and 4pm. Flows should be at 4,000cfs shortly after 4pm on Wednesday.

I know many of you will be angry, and especially those of you fishing and guiding Tuesday and Wednesday, and will be looking for answers to 1) why do releases have to be increased at 8am and 2) why push the rainbows off the spawning beds at the worst possible time? I’ll give you my two cents worth.

A large, wet storm hit the Bighorn basin south of us. Storms like this are not all that uncommon during April and May, the two wettest months of the year. However, when water is managed too conservatively and inadequate storage is available to handle both runoff and sporadic weather events like this last event, reactions to wet events must unfortunately be quick and often. That’s what we’re seeing now. The average lake elevation for this time of year is usually 8 or 10 feet lower than it is at present (3,616.67ft). Those 8 or 10 feet of lake elevation amount to a good deal of storage, which is currently filled with water, which must be released to make room, and that, my friends, is why you’ll see AT LEAST 4,000cfs this week.

As always please report river and algae conditions and floating and/or take out hazards. Thanks to all of you who have been contributing!

Bighorn releases to rise 100cfs this afternoon

Citing the postponement of irrigation due to recent precipitation, Reclamation will increase releases to the river by 100cfs this afternoon at 4pm.  This will bring the total river releases to 2,600cfs.

This time of year is crucial to a robust rainbow spawn. Please reports sightings of rainbows on redds to help biologists better evaluate the impact of rising releases on the spawners.

Thanks!

-D

Recent precip means slightly increased flows to the Bighorn River

Friends:

Citing a turn for the better with regards to precipitation and snowpack, Reclamation will increase river releases 250cfs. Look for the increase to occur at 4pm on Thursday.

This small increase will bring releases up to 2,250cfs, up from 2,000cfs. Minimum releases to wet all important side channel habitat is 2,500cfs.

The current lake elevation is just shy of 3,620ft. which is nearly 12 feet higher than historical averages.