Although inflows have dropped off precipitously in the last few days, Reclamation is expecting Bighorn Lake to fill sometime around the 1st of July. Inflows are currently slightly greater than what is being released to the river and the canal. Additional increases to the river are unlikely at this point, but there could still be one or more weather event that could make things interesting. Barring that, flows should remain at 2,000cfs for the rest of the month. The next stakeholders conference call is scheduled for July 2nd.
During Tuesday’s stakeholder’s conference call, the Bureau of Reclamation announced it would like to increase flows to the river slightly from 1,850cfs to 2,000cfs to help control Bighorn Lake’s rate of fill. Recent precipitation, particularly above Buffalo Bill, have supplemented existing runoff to the point where Buffalo Bill and Bighorn Lake are now expected to fill. Inflows in to Buffalo Bill are at 8,000cfs and rising, and inflows in to Bighorn Lake are at approximately 4,000cfs and expected to start rising in the next day or so.
Additional increases up to 2,500cfs may be required, and will be determined by the intensity and duration of runoff above Buffalo Bill and into Bighorn Lake.
The increase to 2,000cfs is expected to happen Wednesday around 4pm.