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.
Pallid Sturgeon Passage and Entrainment Project
The U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) are continuing evaluation of the proposed modifications to Intake Diversion Dam.
The modifications to reduce entrainment, construction of the new main canal headworks and installation of fish screens, began in October 2010 and have been completed. Irrigation deliveries using the new headworks began in April 2012. The second part of the proposed dam modifications to provide fish passage is being reevaluated by the lead agencies, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana Department of Environmental Quality, and the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation District (District). The reevaluation is necessary because significant changes are being proposed and new information has become available regarding the proposed rock ramp since the 2010 EA and FONSI was released.
Public Involvement - National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Process:
- Final Supplemental to the 2010 Final Environmental Assessment
- Draft Supplemental to the 2010 Final Environmental Assessment
- Draft Supplemental EA (3.38MB)
- Appendix A.1 – Plan Formulation (2.13MB)
- Appendix A.2 – Engineering (27.57MB)
- Appendix C – List of Federally Listed Species and State Species of Special Concern
- Appendix D – Biological Assessment for Operations
- Appendix E – Cost Effectiveness Incremental Cost Analysis
- Appendix F – Species Common and Scientific Names
- Appendix G – National Historic Preservation Act Consultation
- Appendix H – Indian Trust Assets
- Appendix I – Actions to Minimize Effects
- Appendix J – Adaptive Management Plan
- Appendix K – Waters of the U.S. Delineation Report (1.29MB)
- Appendix L – Comment Disposition
- Draft Supplemental EA and Appendices (36.34MB)
- Public Meeting Handouts
- April 1, 2014 Press Release – Public Comment Sought on Intake Diversion Dam Modification, Lower Yellowstone Project at Intake, Mont.
- Lower Yellowstone Fish Passage Alternatives Planning Study – June-September 2013 (3.02MB)
- 2010 FONSI
- 2010 Final Environmental Assessment - Lower Yellowstone Project
Physical Model Study
Reclamation completed a physical model study that provided a detailed evaluation of the flow conditions at the downstream confluence of the Yellowstone River and the proposed Bypass Channel. This confluence area is vitally important to the success of the project because upstream migrating pallid sturgeon must find and navigate into the bypass channel. Water depths, velocity, and flow patterns were evaluated over a wide range of flows and conditions.
- Lower Yellowstone River Intake Diversion Dam Fish Bypass Physical Model – Hydraulic Laboratory Report HL-2014-06
Endangered Species Act (ESA)
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
Intake Diversion Dam Modification Project History Reports:
- Project History Reports (November 1993 to Present)
Last Updated: April 14, 2015