Bighorn River releases to drop to minimums

After a spring that saw records set for snowpack, inflows and river releases, Reclamation will be reducing river releases to minimums by Wednesday. Many of us continue to scratch our heads wondering exactly what it will take to get flows above 2,500cfs as was done successfully in the past.

While we applaud Reclamation’s efforts this spring to avoid river releases over 10,000cfs, it is clear that the existing operating criteria, including the rule curves, need work, and risk needs to be better balanced. FOBR will work closely with FWP and Reclamation to make sure this gets the much needed attention it deserves. Further, we will implore Reclamation to balance reaction times to inflows forecasts (i.e. reacting instantly to dry forecasts and reacting slowly to wet forecasts).

Enjoy the warm weather and cross your fingers we get enough fall precip to maintain 2,500cfs through the winter.

Starting today at noon, releases will drop from ~3,000cfs to 2,750cfs.

At 4pm today, releases will increase 100cfs to 2,850cfs.

On Tuesday at 4pm, releases will decrease from 2,850cfs to 2,725cfs

And finally on Wednesday, at 8am, releases will drop to 2,500cfs, the minimum flow to maintain the fishery.

Bighorn River releases to drop to minimums

The last of the river release reductions are finally upon us. Reclamation has stated they will do their best to maintain releases at or above the minimum of 2,500cfs through the rest of the summer and into fall.

Tomorrow at 8am releases will be reduced from 3,500cfs to 3,000cfs.

Tomorrow at 4pm releases will be reduced from 3,000cfs to 2,500cfs.

Cross your fingers we’ll have normal to slightly above normal precip heading into the fall.

Have a great summer!

One more curtain call to 7,000cfs

As indicated in our last post, Reclamation planned to evaluate inflows today and decide whether or not to increase releases to control the rate of fill and evacuate storage from the exclusive flood pool. As anticipated, inflows stayed up and are currently coming in at 7,700cfs, and releases will increase.

Starting tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8am, release will increase from 6,00cfs to 6,500cfs.
Later on tomorrow at 3pm, releases will increase from 6,500cfs to 7,000cfs.

Flows will drop once inflows begin tapering off.

Enjoy the beautiful weather and excellent fishing!

Lake full, river releases to increase yet again

As expected, inflows remain fairly high, and with the lake full Reclamation will begin releasing water to evacuate storage out of the flood pool. Releases will increase to 6,000cfs by the end of the day tomorrow, and depending on how inflows look by Wednesday morning, releases could be increased even higher, possibly reaching 7,500cfs by Thursday.

Here is what is currently known:

Starting today at 4pm, releases will increase from 4,500cfs to 5,000cfs.
Tomorrow at 8am, releases will increase from 5,000cfs to 5,500cfs.
Tomorrow at 3pm, releases will increase form 5,500cfs to 6,000cfs

Note: Tomorrow’s 3pm change is required because of some concerns balancing water between the holojets and spillways.

Enjoy the great fishing and don’t miss your chance to wave goodbye to the algae!

Early reports indicate algae may be moving out

Early reports indicate the increase in releases (currently at 4,000cfs) have made a significant improvement to the fishability of the upper river. Many of the massive floating algae beds have moved downriver, and the river bottom is start to show clear, fishable spots. Guides are already reporting increased catch rates.

Reclamation is also closely monitoring the algae situation, and measurements taken today corroborate visual evidence that the algae is starting to move out of the system.

Look for another report late tomorrow and possible through the weekend.

Enjoy the holiday!