Although the fall planning meeting is still a little over a week away, Reclamation has set the river releases to 2,510cfs, the flow they expect to establish through the winter. Any changes to this release after the planning meeting will be noted here.
If you’ve been fishing the Bighorn lately, you know the algae is coming on strong (although the fishing has been excellent)! Reclamation uses river stage (among other things) to determine how much water is being released, and stage is greatly affected by the amount of algae and aquatic grasses in the river.
With the vegetation growing quickly, it turns out the actual releases during the last week have been around 2,180cfs, and NOT 2,500cfs as reported. Reclamation was looking to cut releases anyway to deal with these drought conditions, so the end result is that flows will be increase from 2,180cfs to 2,250cfs. The rise in stage will be barely perceptible. This change will occur today at 4pm.
Water temperatures at Afterbay have been holding near 50 degrees. Please report any river temps over 60 degrees, and continue reporting gas bubble trauma (along with the location of the fish caught).
As runoff drops off precipitously, the final rounds of cuts to releases will occur this week.
The current river release is 4,000cfs and a drop of 250cfs will commence this afternoon.
From 3,750cfs, a 350cfs drop late Wednesday will bring us to 3,500cfs
Subsequent cuts of 300cfs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will bring us to 2,500cfs late Saturday.
Start practicing your rain dances. We might need them towards the end of the month!
Releases will continue to be reduced this week as runoff wraps up.
Releases will drop 250cfs from 4,250cfs to 4,000cfs today at 4pm, then from 4,000cfs to 3,750cfs tomorrow at 4pm.
Watch for further anticipated reductions later in the week.
As anticipated, Reclamation will continue to drop releases.
Today at 3pm, the river will drop 500cfs from 5,000cfs to 4,500cfs
Tomorrow at 3pm, the river will drop 250cfs from 4,500cfs to 4,250cfs
Watch this site for the latest information.
Have a great weekend!
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.
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.
Late this afternoon, Reclamation stated that releases to the Bighorn need to be increased in order to control the rate of fill. Therefore, on Monday at 4pm releases will be increased 500cfs from 4,000cfs to 4,500cfs.
Citing updated water supply conditions, Reclamation will increase releases to the Bighorn on Wednesday at 4pm from 2,600cfs to 2,750cfs. Releases to the Bighorn canal are currently 150cfs, and the lake elevation is sitting at almost 23 feet from full pool.
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.