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

Released On: May 23, 2012

Bureau of Reclamation Reservoir Conditions
BILLINGS, MONT. -- According to Dan Jewell, Area Manager for Reclamation's Montana Area Office, water levels at most Reclamation-managed reservoirs in eastern Montana are at or above average for this time of year.

"Boat ramps should be usable at all Reclamation reservoirs east of the Continental Divide during the Memorial Day weekend," Jewell said. "As always, we strongly encourage water-based recreationists to check for the most up-to-date water level conditions at Reclamation's website http://www.usbr.gov/gp/boat/index.cfm, before heading to your favorite reservoir," Jewell added.

Current conditions at Reclamation facilities include:

Clark Canyon Reservoir - Inflows to the reservoir are well below average for this time of year, but the reservoir is nearly full (about 2.0 feet below the top of the joint-use pool) and approximately 0.85 feet lower than at this time last year. All boat ramps around Clark Canyon Reservoir are currently usable.

Canyon Ferry Reservoir - Inflows to Canyon Ferry are slightly higher than average for this time of year. The reservoir level is about 6.0 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and approximately 13 feet higher than at this time last year. Releases to the Missouri River are being maintained at about 4,350 cubic feet per second (cfs). All boat ramps around Canyon Ferry Reservoir are currently usable.

Gibson Reservoir - Inflows to Gibson Reservoir are near average for this time of year. The reservoir is full to the top of the conservation pool and about 46.5 feet higher than at this time last year. The boat ramp at Gibson Reservoir is currently usable. Inflows to Gibson Reservoir are being closely monitored and releases to the Sun River may be changing over the next several days. Recreationists along the Sun River are cautioned to be attentive to fluctuating river levels.

Lake Elwell (Tiber Reservoir) - Inflows to Tiber Reservoir are slightly above average for this time of year. The reservoir level is about 8.2 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and approximately 0.5 feet lower than at this time last year. Releases to the Marias River are currently being maintained at about 1,000 cfs and are expected remain at this rate for the next several days. All boat ramps around Tiber Reservoir are currently usable.

Fresno Reservoir - Inflows to Fresno Reservoir remain above average for this time of year and are currently exceeding downstream irrigation demands. The reservoir level remains above average for this time of year at about 0.75 feet above the top of the active conservation pool. Releases to the Milk River are currently about 850 cfs. Boat ramps at Fresno are all usable.

Nelson Reservoir - Nelson Reservoir is nearly full and the reservoir level is about 127 percent of average for this time of year. Boaters should be able to launch at all locations around Nelson Reservoir.

Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail Dam) - The reservoir level is about 22.8 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and approximately 8.0 feet higher than at this time last year. Releases to the Bighorn River are being maintained at 1,750 cfs to conserve storage. Boaters will be able to launch at all ramp locations around Bighorn Lake. For more information regarding recreation activities and boat launching at Bighorn Lake, recreationists are encouraged to contact the National Park Service at 406-666-3300.

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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.