Wyo.-The Bureau of Reclamation has scheduled a flushing flow in the Big Horn River downstream of Boysen Dam, according to Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. This operation is at the request of, and in coordination with, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
“The purpose of the flushing flow is to improve trout reproduction by flushing fine sediments from spawning gravels in the river,” said Ronca. The flushing flow also improves insect production in the stream by opening up interstitial spaces between gravels and cobbles. The flushing flow is generally welcomed by anglers because it provides easier wading conditions. Following the flushing flow there is a reduction in floating algae.
Flows in the river below Boysen Dam will fluctuate from 600 cfs to 5000 cfs during the flushing flow. On Mar. 21 at 2:00 a.m., the release of water from Boysen Dam will be increased to 3000 cfs and further increased to 5000 cfs at approximately 7:00 a.m. for 10 hours before being reduced gradually back to 600 cfs by approximately 10:00 a.m. on Mar. 22, 2016.
The public is urged to use extreme caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Boysen Dam.
The Bighorn River System Issues Group will meet on April 23 in the Lovell Community Center, located at 1925 Highway 310, Lovell, Wyo., from 10 a.m. to about 3 p.m.
The Bureau of Reclamation will present information about water supply conditions and comments received regarding the operating criteria for Yellowtail Dam/Bighorn Lake. Other issues particular to Yellowtail Dam and Bighorn Lake will also be discussed.
Previous meeting discussions and topics of the group are available online at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao/yellowtail/bighorn_longterm.html.
For additional information about the meeting, contact Jack Conner of the Bureau of Reclamation at 406-247-7300.
Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/lifestyles/recreation/bighorn-issues-group-to-meet-april/article_7af49599-4d2f-5979-a3f0-d9017b376403.html#ixzz3XJCLdsZY
from Wyoming Fish and Game
CODY- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department cautions sportsmen and recreationists to be aware of sizeable increases in water flows in the Bighorn River March 25-27 as part of a flushing flow project.
The Bureau of Reclamation will begin releasing additional water from Boysen Reservoir causing flows in the river below Boysen Dam to fluctuate from 475 cubic feet per second to 5000 cfs. Beginning Tuesday, March 25 at 10 p.m., flows released from the dam will increase to 1000 cfs. On March 26, flows will be increased to 2300 cfs at 2 a.m. and further increased to 5000 cfs at approximately 7 a.m. for ten hours before being gradually reduced to and held at 1000 cfs by approximately 4 a.m. March 27.
The department advises the public to be aware of the potential dangers related to flushing flows. Sportsmen wading or floating the river during this time should consider the fluctuating water levels. Areas that can be waded effectively at 500 cfs may not be accessible at 5000 cfs.
“We will be keeping close tabs on water discharge levels and ice conditions in order to ensure the safety of people and property along the Bighorn River,” said Sam Hochhalter, fisheries biologist with the Game and Fish. The flushing flow may be canceled or rescheduled depending on water and ice conditions.
Game and Fish has requested the flushing flow in order to clean fine sediments from fish spawning habitats and to increase production of invertebrates that fish depend on for food. Flushing flows have been a regular occurrence on the river since 2005 and have dramatically improved wild rainbow trout reproduction in the Bighorn River. For more information, contact Sam Hochhalter at 307-527-7125.