Reclamation clarifies release schedule

Here’s the latest from Reclamation. Please read carefully, and remember that what IS NOT being said can often be as important as what IS being said. Also, as the flood pool fills, any flexibility Reclamation has in managing water diminishes significantly or disappears entirely, and changes must come fast and are often dramatic. Expect frequent email updates! If things appear urgent, I will indicate so in the email subject. Thanks for your understanding! Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: Yesterday afternoon I sent you a message regarding decreasing our releases from Yellowtail Dam to 8,500 cubic-feet per second over the next few days. As indicated in that message, the purpose of the accelerated reduction is to support the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in their flood control operations on the Missouri River mainstem facilities. These reductions will result in Yellowtail Reservoir filling at a faster rate than we previously forecasted. We are now projecting Yellowtail Reservoir to reach, and possibly exceed, elevation 3654.0 feet by about mid-July. If these conditions are realized, it may be necessary to increase our releases above 8,500 cfs to safely manage the remaining storage in Yellowtail Reservoir. While the timing and magnitude of any such increases is impossible to know at this time, it is conceivable that the release rates could approach those experienced in recent weeks. Throughout this period, Reclamation will continue to fully support the Corps in their flood control operations.We are continuing to post updates to the operational conditions at Yellowtail Dam on a daily basis on the Montana Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao. The information for Yellowtail Dam is located under the heading Updated Yellowtail Operations Status. Please let me know if you have any questions about these updates or about our current operations at Yellowtail Dam. Thanks again,Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

No,wait! Flows to drop to 8,500cfs

Folks, this is where it starts getting VERY interesting! This just arrived from Reclamation:Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: In support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers flood control operations on the Missouri River Mainstem, releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River are being reduced as follows:Wednesday, June 29 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced 1,000 cfs from a rate of approximately 13,000 cfs to approximately 12,000 cfs.Thursday, June 30 at 8:00 AM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced 500 cfs from a rate of approximately 12,000 cfs to approximately 11,500 cfs.Thursday, June 30 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced 1000 cfs from a rate of approximately 11,500 cfs to approximately 10,500 cfs.Friday, July 1 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced 1,000 cfs from a rate of approximately 10,500 cfs to approximately 9,500 cfs.Saturday, July 2 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced 1,000 cfs from a rate of approximately 9,500 cfs to approximately 8,500 cfs.We also continue to post updates to the operational conditions at Yellowtail Dam on a daily basis on the Bureau of Reclamations Montana Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao. The information for Yellowtail Dam is located under the heading Updated Yellowtail Operations Status. Please let me know if this is not meeting your informational needs or if you have any questions about these updates. Thanks again,Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Flows to drop to 11,950cfs

In the earlier post, it was noted that releases to the canal were beginning with a total of 150cfs in 50cfs increments. This is still the case, but along with those canal releases, river releases WERE BEING DROPPED by the same amount. My apologies for overlooking that detail. However, another update just arrived, and the plan now is to drop the river releases to 11,950cfs, and continue stepping up releases to the canal to 150cfs by 5pm today. Again, river releases will drop to 11,950cfs and canal release will be 150cfs.

Releases to Bighorn Canal begin today

Friends: We just received a Water Order Change notification from Reclamation, and it looks like the Bighorn Canal is finally coming online. Releases to the canal will begin today and ramp up to 150cfs in 50cfs increments. Additional increases in the near future are likely. Releases to the river remain at 13,000cfs. -Doug

Bighorn River update, June 28, 2011

Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: The purpose of this message is to update you on the current operational conditions at Yellowtail Dam. In response to our snowmelt runoff outlook, a reduction in releases out of Boysen Reservoir in Wyoming, as well as to provide relief to the Corps of Engineers at their storage facilities on the Missouri River downstream of Yellowtail, releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River were reduced today as follows:Tuesday, June 28 at 1:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam were reduced 1,000 cfs from a rate of approximately 14,000 cfs to approximately 13,000 cfs.We also continue to post updates to the operational conditions at Yellowtail Dam on a daily basis on the Bureau of Reclamations Montana Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao. The information for Yellowtail Dam is located under the heading Updated Yellowtail Operations Status. Please let me know if this is not meeting your informational needs or if you have any questions about these updates. Thanks again,Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Update Park work schedule

This just arrived from Jerry Case:The work at 3-Mile is almost complete and baring any serious setbacks the contractor should finish up by Friday, July 1, if not before. The barricades will be out when the area is closed. The contractor will start work on the Afterbay parking lot on Tuesday, July 5th and the following conditions will apply:The Afterbay Launch Ramp will be open for launching from sunrise until 9 am every day except: -1 days for installation of drainage work on entrance road -3 days of grading parking lot(The complete closure of Afterbay launch for the above work is expected to occur the week of July 25th.)-The Afterbay Launch Ramp will likely be available 90% of the time after 9 am while working on the retaining wall, vault toilet, and concrete ADA parking. Traffic control on site will direct launch ramp activities.-South side launch ramp (across the river from Afterbay) will remain available throughout construction.-All launch ramps open on weekends.If you have any questions please give me a call or send an email.Thanks – JerryJerry CaseSuperintendentBighorn Canyon NRAPO Box 7458Fort Smith, MT 59035406-666-3300406-696-7605 (cell)406-666-2415 (fax)

Flows drop to 14,000cfs

[Note: This update was from 6/23]Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: The purpose of this message is to update you on the current operational conditions at Yellowtail Dam. Releases from Yellowtail Dam are currently 15,500 cubic-feet per second (cfs). In response to our revised water supply outlook, releases will be reduced by 1,500 cfs today . This reduction will occur as follows:Thursday, June 23 at 1:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced 1,500 cfs from the current rate of approximately 15,500 cfs, to a total release of approximately 14,000 cfs. We continue to post updates to the operational conditions at Yellowtail Dam on a daily basis on the Bureau of Reclamations Montana Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao. The information for Yellowtail Dam is located under the heading Updated Yellowtail Operations Status. Please let me know if this is not meeting your informational needs or if you have any questions about these updates. Thanks again, Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov

Flows to drop to 14,500cfs

At long last, some good news! During today’s stakeholder’s conference call, Reclamation indicated that inflow forecasts will permit a reduction in river releases. This reduction in releases will most likely occur tomorrow in the early afternoon, and probably be a reduction of 1,000cfs dropping flows from 15,500cfs to 14,500cfs. Coincidentally, I’m off to Canada for a few days tomorrow in search of [monster] pike on the fly, and returning Sunday evening. During my absence, I hope to be able provide Bighorn River updates in the evening if necessary, but let me apologize in advance in the event I’m tardy or absent for a short period. I know those of you who work and live along the river continue to suffer. Very soon, lake recreation (except at Horseshoe Bend) will be also be compromised as lake elevations rise in to the flood pool. Please continue to send your thoughts and concerns and observations and pictures so that this information can be forwarded on to Reclamation and others so that appropriate adjustments can be made to the current operating criteria. Thanks! -Doug

Weekend bump to start tonight

Friends: Here comes the 500cfs bump mentioned yesterday: Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: The purpose of this message is to update you on Reclamations plans to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. We plan to increase our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River as follows:Friday, June 10 at 7:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail will be increased 500 cfs from the current rate of approximately 15,000 cfs to approximately 15,500 cfs.This update is also posted on the Bureau of Reclamations Montana Area Office website at http://www.usbr.gov/gp/mtao. The information for Yellowtail Dam is located under the heading Updated Yellowtail Operations Status. Please contact me if you have any questions on this.Thank you,Steve DaviesU.S. Bureau of ReclamationMontana Area OfficeOffice: 406-247-7322Cell: 406-855-1446sdavies@usbr.gov