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Great Plains Region
Billings, Mont.
Media Contact:
Coleman Smith
(307) 261-5671

Released On: March 05, 2014

Fluctuation of North Platte River Flow Downstream of Gray Reef Dam
MILLS, Wyo. -- The Bureau of Reclamation, in response to a request from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, has scheduled a series of fluctuating flows in the North Platte River downstream of Gray Reef Dam.

The purpose of the fluctuations is to improve trout reproduction in the river, according to Coleman Smith, Wyoming Area Manager. "In the past, spring flushing flows have occurred during five consecutive weekdays. Last spring, the Wyoming Game & Fish requested flows for 10 consecutive days," Smith said. "However, the flushing flows had to be terminated after seven days due to a loss of generating capacity at Fremont Canyon Powerplant. This spring, the Wyoming Game & Fish again requested flows for 10 consecutive days. The Wyoming Game & Fish will collect data before, during, and after the flushing flow in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the longer duration flush."

On March 17, flows in the river below Gray Reef Dam will fluctuate from 500 cfs to 4000 cfs according to the following schedule:

HOURS GRAY REEF OUTFLOWS (cfs)
00:01 to 01:00 a.m. 500
01:00 to 03:00 a.m. 2000
03:00 to 07:00 a.m. 4000
07:00 to 08:00 a.m. 3000
08:00 to 09:00 a.m. 2000
09:00 to 10:00 a.m. 1000
10:00 to midnight 500

This schedule will be repeated daily on March 18 through March 26. After completing the flushing flow on March 26, the flows below Gray Reef Dam will return to 500 cfs. The schedule may be modified depending on river ice conditions.

The flushing flows are expected to clean the spawning gravels of fine sediment which has accumulated over the winter. The fluctuations in the river flow will be achieved without loss of power generation and the water released from Alcova Reservoir will be restored downstream in Glendo Reservoir.

The public is urged to use caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Gray Reef Dam.

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