Reclamation to Increase Releases from Fresno Dam

Media Contact: Paula A. Holwegner, (406) 247-7300

For Release: April 15, 2013

BILLINGS, Mont. -- The Bureau of Reclamation will be increasing releases from Fresno Dam to the Milk River beginning Wednesday, April 17. Releases will be stepped-up from the current rate of 50 cubic feet per second (cfs) to approximately 300 cfs over the next week. The increases are to control the rate-of-fill of Fresno Reservoir.

"Inflows to Fresno were averaging approximately 630 cfs over the past 4 days," said Steve Davies, Reclamation's Montana Area Office Operations and Maintenance Division Manager. "Further adjustments to releases during the next few weeks are likely depending on downstream river conditions."

Milk River recreationists are cautioned to be aware of changing reservoir levels at Fresno Reservoir, as well as stage changes that may occur on the river.

Fresno Dam, located on the Milk River 14 miles west of Havre, Mont., is a compacted earthfill dam with a structural height of 110 feet and a crest length of 2,070 feet. It contains 2,105,000 cubic yards of material. An overflow-type spillway at the north end of the dam provides for a flow of 51,360 cubic feet per second through the concrete-lined channel. The outlet works discharge a maximum of 2,180 cubic feet per second through two 72-inch steel pipe outlet tubes. A conservation storage of 127,200 acre-feet is impounded in Fresno Reservoir. Provision also is made for flood control benefits.

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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