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

Released On: May 22, 2013

Bureau of Reclamation Reservoir Conditions
BILLINGS, Mont. -- According to Brent Esplin, 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.

"Most boat ramps should be usable at all Reclamation reservoirs east of the Continental Divide during the Memorial Day weekend," Esplin 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.html before heading to your favorite reservoir," Esplin added.

Current conditions at Reclamation facilities include:

Clark Canyon Reservoir – Inflows to the reservoir are well below average for this time of year. The reservoir is about 10 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and about 8 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 below average for this time of year. The reservoir level is about 15 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and approximately 9 feet lower than at this time last year. Releases to the Missouri River are being maintained at about 3,470 cubic feet per second (cfs). Most of the boat ramps around Canyon Ferry Reservoir are currently usable.

Gibson Reservoir – Inflows to Gibson Reservoir are below average for this time of year. The reservoir is about 12 feet below the top of the conservation pool and about 12 feet lower than at this time last year. The boat ramp at Gibson Reservoir is currently usable.

Lake Elwell (Tiber Reservoir) – Inflows to Tiber Reservoir are nearly average for this time of year. The reservoir level is about 5 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and approximately 3 feet higher than at this time last year. Releases to the Marias River are currently being maintained at about 500 cfs. All boat ramps around Tiber Reservoir are currently usable.

Fresno Reservoir – Inflows to Fresno Reservoir are below average for this time of year. The reservoir level is above average for this time of year at about 0.4 feet below the top of the active conservation pool and approximately 1 foot lower than at this time last year. Releases to the Milk River are currently about 700 cfs. All boat ramps at Fresno are currently usable.

Nelson Reservoir – Nelson Reservoir is nearly full and the reservoir level is above 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 13 feet below the top of the joint-use pool and approximately 10 feet higher than at this time last year. Releases to the Bighorn River are being maintained at 1,850 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 406-666-3218.

Each year hundreds of lives are lost... thousands are injured... and millions of dollars of property damage occurs because of preventable recreational boating accidents on U.S. waterways. Too often pleasure outings turn tragic. You — as a boat operator, passenger, or concerned individual — can make a difference. For more information visit www.uscgboating.org.

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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.