Reclamation Announces Fall Releases at Shadehill Dam

Media Contact: Curt Anderson, (605) 394-9757
Jeff Nettleton, (605) 394-9757

For Release: October 12, 2011

The Bureau of Reclamation will begin making fall water releases at Shadehill Dam to position the reservoir for the winter.

Contractors have completed painting the Shadehill Dam outlet works pipe which delivers water to the Grand River. Reclamation can now begin water releases from Shadehill Dam to lower the reservoir water surface.

"The plan is to lower the reservoir approximately 8 feet by December 1, 2011," said Jeff Nettleton, Chief of Operations, Maintenance and Engineering Services for Reclamation's Dakotas Area Office. "The expected release from the outlet works to the Grand River will be 350 cubic feet per second (cfs) this week with an increase to 500 cfs on October 19, 2011."

Reclamation plans to position the reservoir for the winter as well as meet the required drawdown for the riprap work planned for Ketterling's Point Recreation Area at Shadehill Reservoir. Reclamation has discussed this with landowners along the Grand River below Shadehill Dam and has notified the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Controlled releases are anticipated to be around 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) until sometime around December 1, 2011. The winter release will then be set to around 50 cfs.

The following is the status of Reclamation's South Dakota Reservoirs and Keyhole Reservoir in northeastern Wyoming.


Inflows into Shadehill Reservoir for water year 2011 (October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011) were the 4th highest in 60 years of record for the reservoir. Average inflows for a water year at Shadehill are approximately 72,000 acre-feet and for water year 2011 they totaled 273,000 acre-feet. The present reservoir surface elevation at Shadehill is 2272.0.

Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche Reservoir is currently at elevation 2967.4. The end of month elevation for September was the fourth highest in the last 60 years. Presently the Belle Fourche Irrigation District is diverting water from the Belle Fourche River into the reservoir. They plan to position the reservoir approximately 6 feet below full for the winter.

Belle Fourche Dam is an off-stream storage reservoir located on Owl Creek. The reservoir is filled by diverting water from the Belle Fourche River at the Diversion Dam just downstream of Belle Fourche, SD through the Inlet Canal to the reservoir. Additional inflows from Owl Creek, which flows directly into the Belle Fourche Reservoir, also contribute to the reservoir during snow melt and precipitation events.

Angostura Reservoir

The current elevation at Angostura is 3180.7 and no releases are being made from the dam. Angostura Reservoir is full at elevation 3187.2. Inflows to Angostura for the water year were approximately 170 percent of average.


Pactola Reservoir is currently at elevation 4576.8 feet which is 2.4 feet from full. Inflows for the water year were 170 percent of average and the 5th highest for the period of record of the reservoir. Pactola releases to Rapid Creek are currently set at 50 cfs. The winter release will be set near the middle of October and will be around 40 cfs.

Deerfield Reservoir

Deerfield Reservoir is at elevation 5906.9. Full elevation at Deerfield is 5908.0. Inflows for water year 2011 have averaged 180 percent of average and were the 5th highest for the period of record of the reservoir. The present release from Deerfield to Castle Creek is 17 cfs.

Keyhole Reservoir

Keyhole Reservoir inflows for water year 2011 were 350 percent of average and the 3rd highest in 60 years of record for the reservoir. Keyhole Reservoir ended September at the 4th highest elevation for the period of record and is 2.5 feet from full. No releases from Keyhole are being made.

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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:

Dakotas Area Office Home Page