Fluctuation of North Platte River Flow Downstream of Gray Reef Dam

Media Contact: John H. Lawson, (307) 261-5671
Mark Andersen, (406) 247-7610

For Release: February 26, 2004

The Bureau of Reclamation, at the request of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGF), 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 by flushing fine sediments from spawning gravels in the river, according to John H. Lawson, Area Manager of the Bureau of Reclamation, Wyoming Area Office in Mills, Wyoming.

On March 8, 2004, flows in the river below Gray Reef Dam will fluctuate from 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 2000 cfs. Starting on March 9 through March 12, 2004, flow in the river below Gray Reef will fluctuate between 500 cfs and 4000 cfs and will be made 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 08:00 a.m. 4000 08:00 to 09:00 a.m. 3000 09:00 to 10:00 a.m. 2000 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. 1000 11:00 to midnight 500

This schedule will be repeated again on March 10, March 11, and March 12, 2004. After completing the flushing flow on March 12, 2004, the flows below Gray Reef Dam will be stabilized at approximately 500 cfs for the rest of the month.

Should river conditions not be favorable because of climatic conditions the series of flushing flows will be cancelled.

The flushing flows are expected to clean the spawning gravels of fine sediment which has accumulated throughout the year. Performing the flush at this time of the year will clean gravels for the spring trout spawning. 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 extreme caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Gray Reef Dam.

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