Reclamation announces temporary fluctuation of North Platte River flow downstream of Gray Reef Dam
MILLS, Wyoming – 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,” said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca. This spring, the Wyoming Game & Fish has requested flows for seven consecutive days. The Wyoming Game & Fish will collect data before, during, and after the flushing flow in order to evaluate its effectiveness.
On March 18, flows in the river below Gray Reef Dam will fluctuate from 500 cubic feet per second (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 02:00 a.m. 2000
02:00 to 04:00 a.m. 4000
04:00 to 04:30 a.m. 3000
04:30 to 05:00 a.m. 2000
05:00 to 06:00 a.m. 1000
06:00 to midnight 500
This schedule will be repeated daily from March 18 through March 24. On March 24, the final day of the fluctuating flows, the peak flow of 4,000 cfs will be released for one additional hour and flows will ramp down to 500 cfs at 7:00 a.m. 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.