Next week’s releases schedule

Here’s an update that clarifies the discrepancy in river flows. Please note that the USGS site shows a calculated river flow which is derived from a river stage measurement, and that algae dramatically alters river stage as it grows or dies off. Also note, that Thursday, releases will be dropped to 3,500cfs. Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations operations of Yellowtai Dam and Powerplant and the scheduled releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Due to recent stream flow and canal flow measurements conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, the actual river and canal flows were lower than our targeted discharges. To control the evacuation rate of evacuation of flood storage in Bighorn Lake and continue to gradually reduce flows in the Bighorn River, plans are to make the following adjustment in releases from Yellowtail Dam:Friday, August 26 at 4:00 PM: Apply new shift to river gage height and maintain releases from Yellowtail Dam at the measured discharge of about 4,160 cfs.Monday, August 29 at 4:00 PM: No change in releases as previously scheduled and continue to maintain releases to the Bighorn River at about 4,160 cfs.Thursday, September 1 at 4:00 PM: Plans are to reduce releases to the Bighorn River to about 3,500 cfs.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: 406-855-1446

Releases continue to drop

Just received a water order change from Reclamation. Although the river releases have been at or near 5,400cfs all day, the water order calls for a decrease in releases to 5,400cfs at 4pm today. Additionally, on Monday August 22 at 4pm, releases will be dropped further from 5,400cfs to 5,000cfs. Hope you are finding time to get out and enjoy the fishing!

Another drop scheduled for Thursday

This came today from Reclamation. During our conference call yesterday, it was indicated there’d most likely be another 500cfs drop on Monday. Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to continue reducing our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Results from a USGS stream flow measurement completed yesterday on the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Afterbay Dam indicate actual releases are about 75 cubic-feet per second (cfs) lower than expected due to aquatic vegetation growth within the river channel (6,170 cfs instead of 6,245 cfs). Inflows are currently averaging about 3,500 to 4,000 cfs, and the reservoir is dropping at a rate of about 0.30 to 0.40 feet per day. In order to control the rate of evacuation of the flood storage pool, as well as to stage down the Bighorn River flows in a controlled manner, we are planning to make the following reduction in our releases:Thursday, August 18 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced about 670 cfs from 6,170 cfs to about 5,500 cfs.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

Flows to continue to drop

This came in this morning from Reclamation: Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with an update on our planned releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Results from a USGS stream flow measurement completed yesterday on the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Afterbay Dam indicate actual releases are about 830 cubic-feet per second (cfs) lower than expected due to aquatic vegetation growth within the river channel. As a result of this measurement, we are modifying our planned releases from Yellowtail Dam as follows:Thursday, August 11 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced about 425 cfs from the current actual release of about 7,170 cfs to about 6,745 cfs.Monday, August 15 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced about 500 cfs from 6,745 cfs to about 6,245 cfs.As releases from Yellowtail Dam are reduced below about 7,000 cfs, releases through the Spillway and River Outlets will be discontinued and releases will be made only through the powerplant. As a result of this, future reductions in releases to continue controlling the rate of evacuation of the flood storage pool, as well as to stage down Bighorn River flows in a controlled manner will most likely occur in increments of approximately 500 cfs or less.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

Snafu cuts river releases further than planned

A typo with a Reclamation Water Order Change caused river releases to drop below the planned 8,000cfs today. Flows dropped under 7,000cfs for a short time this evening before being corrected, and by 8pm this evening, flows were back up to 8,000cfs. An earlier Water Order Change incorrectly specified a lower gage height, and dam workers correctly followed the water order change.Not surprisingly, the drop below 8,000cfs was first noticed by Bighorn River Alliance member Frank Johnson. Less than two weeks ago Alliance Member and guide Bob Krumm noticed an unplanned drop when a power outage caused that incident.

Drop to 8,000cfs coming late this afternoon

Looks like another 1,000cfs drop is planned. This arrived early this morning from Reclamation: Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to continue reducing our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Inflows are currently averaging about 6,700 cubic-feet per second (cfs), and the reservoir is dropping at a rate of about 0.30 to 0.40 feet per day. In order to control the rate of evacuation of the flood storage pool, and in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), we are planning to make the following reduction in our releases:Monday, August 8 at 4:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced from 9,000 cfs to 8,000 cfs.Please be advised that additional reductions in releases will be scheduled in the coming weeks in order to continue controlling the rate of evacuation of the flood storage pool, as well as to stage down Bighorn River flows in a controlled manner. We are anticipating the next reduction to a release of about 7,000 cfs will occur later this week. 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

Afterbay and Three Mile construction completed

The Afterbay access site rehabilitation project was completed this week. The Three Mile was completed last last month. Both projects turned out quite well. There were too many rocks placed along the sidewalk, and half of those will be removed (a big thanks to Ellyn Nadeau for making this happen). A special thanks to Jerry Case for turning a real fiasco in to something everyone appreciates. The photo above was taken standing in front of the new restroom. Click here to see the enlarged image.

Release to drop to 9,000cfs on Wednesday

Just got off the weekly stakeholders conference call, and it looks like releases will drop 1,000cfs tomorrow (see the official update below). It is anticipated that releases will be decreased another 1,000cfs on Monday or Tuesday next week, and one more drop to 7,000cfs on Thursday. Reclamation was asked to perform these drops as late in the day as possible given a variety of constraints. Here is the official announcement of tomorrow’s drop: Yellowtail Stakeholders and Interested Parties: This message is to provide you with notification of Reclamations plans to continue reducing our releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River. Inflows are currently averaging about 7,300 cubic-feet per second (cfs), and the reservoir is dropping at a rate of about 0.30 to 0.40 feet per day. In order to control the rate of evacuation of the flood storage pool, and in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), we are planning to make the following reduction in our releases:Wednesday, August 3 at 1:00 PM: Releases from Yellowtail Dam will be reduced from 10,000 cfs to 9,000 cfs.Please be advised that additional reductions in releases will be scheduled in the coming weeks in order to continue controlling the rate of evacuation of the flood storage pool, as well as to stage down Bighorn River flows in a controlled manner. We are anticipating the next reduction to a release of about 8,000 cfs will occur early next week. 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