The April through July inflow forecast indicates Reclamation needs to increase releases to make storage available. At 4pm on Thursday, releases will increase 250cfs, from 2,250cfs to 2,500cfs.
2,500cfs is the minimum flows required to sustain a healthy fishery.
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.
Citing dwindling gains, early irrigation requests but despite a storm approaching. Reclamation has decided to cut river releases another 250cfs, and isn’t wasting any time.
Look for releases to drop this afternoon at 4pm from 2,250cfs to 2,000cfs. The current lake elevation is approximately 3,620ft, or 20 feet from full pool.
As anticipated, river releases to the Bighorn River will drop from 2,500cfs to 2,50cfs at 8am on Monday morning.
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.
During the bi-weekly stakeholders call with Reclamation today, the Bureau indicated conditions have warranted a slight reduction in releases. In the next day or so, expect releases to drop from 2,500cfs to 2,250cfs.
While we always hate to see the river drop below 2,500cfs, we believe Reclamation is acting appropriately given the current conditions and inflow forecasts. We all know that had these same conditions come about 6 or 8 years ago, we’d have already seen releases well below 2,500cfs. Hats off to Reclamation for balancing the resources.
With high water and low water come challenges. Please let us know of any hazards you find along the river, including boat launching and recovery, and we’ll get ’em posted here.
Better, but we’ve got a ways to go yet.
After setting records for inflows just weeks ago, and within minutes of leaving the flood pool for a full lake, Reclamation will be reducing releases to 2,500cfs… the minimum flows required to sustain the fishery.
On Friday at 8am, releases will be dropped 250cfs from 3,500cfs to 3,250cfs.
On Friday at 4pm, releases will be dropped 250cfs from 3,250cfs to 3,000cfs.
On Saturday at 8am, releases will be dropped 250cfs from 3,000cfs to 2,750cfs.
On Saturday at 4pm, releases will be dropped 250cfs from 2,750cfs to 2,500cfs.
In two 250cfs increments at 8am and 4pm on Monday, releases to the Bighorn will drop to 3,500cfs on Monday.
Look for minimum releases of 2,500cfs with a full lake by the end of the month.
More decreases to releases, folks,
At 3pm on Thursday, release will be reduced 300cfs from 4,300cfs to 4,000cfs.
Additional cuts this week are very likely.