Still in the flood pool, irrigation ends and releases to climb to 4,500cfs

The Bighorn Canal is ending its irrigation season, and the current canal releases will be diverted to the river. In addition, because inflows have stayed up, additional releases will have to take place in order to draft the reservoir and finally get out of the exclusive flood pool.

Starting Thursday at 3pm, releases will increase from 3,900cfs to 4,500cfs.

Here are a couple of important notes to consider this week:

Algae and aquatic vegetation is currently displacing enough water to raise the stage of the river nearly a foot and a quarter in some section of the river.

The turbidity seen in the river is coming from Bighorn Lake, which has been verified by Reclamation personnel.

The work on the Afterbay lake should be completed this week and the Afterbay lake refilled immediately after work is completed.

Lastly, WAPA has requested a decrease in power generation, which will require some water to be released from the dam from an outlet OTHER THAN the turbines. This may (or may not) result in somewhat less turbid water coming from the dam. IMPORTANT: To help with future algae issues, PLEASE let us know what changes you see on the river starting Thursday and through the weekend. That information may be useful down the road in reducing the headaches of future algae problems.

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Unusually high inflows require additional releases

Unusually high inflows continue to fill the reservoir, so additional releases will be required to evacuate storage.

Starting today at 4pm Reclamation will increase releases from 3,050cfs to 3,300cfs, and,
tomorrow at 4pm another 200cfs to 3,500cfs.

When you have time, PLEASE continue to email me brief river condition reports whether they be good or bad. I discovered today there may be a striking difference between what anglers and guides are experiencing and what water managers are hearing.