Fresno Dam


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.

Fresno Dam is located in a valley, which the Milk River has cut in sandstone and shales of the Judith River formation (Upper Cretaceous). The strata of the Judith River formation dip gently east-word and are frequently of the lenticular nature. Foundation is river silts and gravel in riverbed, irregularly cemented, leaky Fresno sandstone in right abutment; sandstone underlain by impervious and fairly stable Sprague shale in left abutment.

RegionFacilities in Great Plains | Great Plains Home Page
CountyCounty Hill
ProjectMilk River
Dam TypeHomogeneous earthfill
WatercourseMilk River
LocationFourteen miles west of Havre, Montana
Original Construction1937-1939
Modified ConstructionFresno Dam was raised 2 feet in 1943 to restore original camber due to excessive foundation settlement. In 1951 the crest was raised by a maximum of 2 feet to the original camber and a concrete parapet and curb walls were constructed on the crest.
National ID Number
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height110.00 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)57.00 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation2,575.00 ft
Crest Elevation2,596.10 ft
Crest Length2,070.00 ft
Crest Width22.00 ft
Base Width726.00 ft
Volume of Dam Construction Materials 2,105,000.00 cu yd
Streambed at Dam Axis
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)2,575.00 ft
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)2,567.00 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)2,530.00 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation129,062.00 acre-ft at 2,575.00 ft
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation
Spillway TypeUncontrolled Crest
Auxiliary SpillwayNo
Spillway Capacity at Elevation51,360.00 cfs at 2,591.00 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at Elevation
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleArea Manager
OrganizationMontana Area Office
AddressP.O. Box 30137
CityBillings, MT 59107-0137
Phone (Fax)406 247-7338
Phone (Office)406 247-7300
TitleArea Manager
OrganizationMontana Area Office
AddressP.O. Box 30137
CityBillings, MT 59107-0137
Phone (Fax)406 247-7338
Phone (Office)406 247-7300

Last updated: Mar 29, 2013