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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
Paula Holwegner
(406) 247-7300
Mark Andersen
(406) 247-7610

Released On: August 28, 2007

Bureau of Reclamation Announces Reservoir Information
According to Dan Jewell, Area Manager for Reclamation's Montana Area Office, inflow to many Reclamation-managed reservoirs in Montana are at or near record low levels for this time of year. In addition, the general lack of precipitation during late June through August placed heavier-than-normal demands on reservoir storage.

"Despite these severe hydrologic conditions, boat ramps should still be usable at most Reclamation reservoirs during the Labor Day weekend," Jewell added. "As always, we strongly encourage recreationists to check for the most up-to-date information on boat ramp status at Reclamation's website http://www.usbr.gov/gp/boat/index.cfm."

Current conditions at Reclamation facilities include:

Clark Canyon Reservoir - Inflows to the reservoir are about 54 percent of average. The reservoir level is similar to last year at this same time. Releases to the Beaverhead River are being maintained at 265 cubic feet per second (cfs) to meet downstream irrigation demands. The boat ramp at Beaverhead Camp is usable.

Canyon Ferry Reservoir - Inflows to Canyon Ferry are about 37 percent of average. The reservoir level is about 1.2 feet lower than at this time last year. Releases from Canyon Ferry to the Missouri River are about 3,500 cfs. Boaters should be able to launch at all ramp locations around Canyon Ferry during the Labor Day weekend.

Gibson Reservoir - The storage in Gibson was fully utilized by early August. Releases to the Sun River are currently about 200 cfs and they will be adjusted as necessary to meet downstream irrigation demands in September.

Lake Elwell (Tiber Reservoir) - After experiencing record or near-record low inflows for most of the year, the reservoir level is now approximately 5.7 feet lower than at this time last year. The reservoir is expected to continue dropping as releases to the Marias River are being maintained at 400 cfs. Shortly after the Labor Day weekend, releases to the Marias River will likely be reduced in an effort to conserve storage. The boat ramp at VFW Campground is usable.

Milk River Project (Fresno & Nelson) - Releases from Fresno Dam to the Milk River are being maintained at about 640 cfs to meet irrigation demands on the Milk River Project. The water level in Fresno Reservoir is about 128 percent of average for this time of year while storage in Nelson Reservoir is about average. Boaters should be able to launch at most ramp locations around Fresno and Nelson Reservoirs during the Labor Day weekend.

Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail Dam) - The reservoir level is approximately 32.5 feet higher than at this time last year. Releases to the Bighorn River are being maintained at 1,750 cfs until a decision is reached later this year on an appropriate fall/winter release rate. All boat ramps around Bighorn Lake should be usable during the Labor Day weekend.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at www.usbr.gov.