Lower Yellowstone Project
Bureau of Reclamation's Lower Yellowstone Project is located in eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Intake Diversion Dam is located approximately 70 miles upstream of the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers near Glendive, Montana. The Lower Yellowstone Project was authorized by the Secretary of the Interior on May 10, 1904. Construction of the Lower Yellowstone Project began in 1905 and included Intake Diversion Dam (also known as Yellowstone River Diversion Dam) - a 12-foot high wood and stone diversion dam that spans the Yellowstone River and diverts water into the Main Canal for irrigation. The Lower Yellowstone Project was authorized to provide a dependable water supply sufficient to irrigate approximately 52,000 acres of land on the benches above the west bank of the Yellowstone River. Water is also supplied to irrigate approximately 830 acres in the Intake Irrigation Project and 2,200 acres in the Savage Unit. Both of the smaller irrigation projects pump water from the Main Canal. The average annual volume of water diverted for these projects is 327,046 acre-feet.
Reclamation and the U.S. Army, Corps of Engineers have jointly prepared a draft Environmental Assessment that analyzes and discloses effects associated with potential modifications to Intake Diversion Dam. The proposed Federal action is to modify Intake Diversion Dam and main canal headworks, features of Reclamation's Lower Yellowstone Project, to improve passage for endangered pallid sturgeon and other native fish in the lower Yellowstone River and reduce entrainment of fish into the Lower Yellowstone Project main canal.
For more information, please contact Paula Holwegner, MTAO's Public Involvement Specialist
Scale Model of Intake Diversion Dam and Headworks
Video clips of the 1/20 scale physical model of the Yellowstone River, proposed Intake Diversion Dam, and proposed irrigation canal headworks. These video clips are unedited. This physical model focuses on the proposed diversion dam, canal headworks, and approximately the first 500 feet of the rock ramp. There was not enough space in the lab to build the model to this scale and have enough room for the entire rock ramp. Once the canal headworks model study is completed, the model will be torn down and rebuilt with the diversion dam and full rock ramp. The vertical beams in the model are the building support beams and unfortunately could not be avoided.
Some of the current sampling taking place includes; canal headworks flow, fish screen efficiency, dye tests to determine water movement, entrainment tests using neutrally buoyant beads, and sedimentation sampling. The red dots on the bottom of the model assist with some of these tests.
There are two flow regimes demonstrated in these clips; 15,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and 38,000 cfs. Flow regimes of 3,000 cfs, 7,000 cfs, and 30,000 cfs were also sampled. In the middle of the “top view” videos, there are three horizontal aluminum beams that span the model. The diversion dam is under the beam closest to the camera. The headwork and screens are on the left side of the model next to the closest vertical beam and is best viewed at the end of the two “top view” videos. The screens are cylindrical and on the bottom of the canal headworks. The diversion dam is best viewed from the “side view” video.
Video 1: 15kcfs Top View
Video 2: 15kcfs Side View
Video 3: 38kcfs Top View
Public Involvement - National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process:
Intake Diversion Dam Modification Project History Reports:
Last Updated: March 6, 2013