Reclamation Sets Fall-Winter Releases from Yellowtail Dam

Media Contact: Paula A. Holwegner, (406) 247-7300
Michael R. Odle, (406) 247-7609

For Release: November 05, 2009

The Bureau of Reclamation has set fall-winter releases from Yellowtail Dam to the Bighorn River at 2,775 cubic feet per second, which is the highest November through March release in the past decade. The high flow is made possible by favorable storage conditions at Yellowtail and improved water storage conditions upstream in the Bighorn Basin compared to recent years.

"We have been working hard with stakeholders through the Bighorn River System Issues Group during the past couple of years to improve our ability to meet competing demands on Yellowtail Dam and Reservoir", said Dan Jewell, Area Manager for Reclamation's Montana Area Office. "Most folks recognize that available water supply is the key variable, and our storage conditions are about as good as you can get for this time of year. If conditions hold, we can provide strong fall and winter releases to the Bighorn River and still meet our reservoir targets this coming spring and summer," Jewell said. "However, there are no guarantees in this business and at this point we're at the mercy of the weather for the next several months."

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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 and follow us on Twitter @USBR.

Relevant Link:

Montana Area Office Home Page