CODY - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department cautions sportsmen and recreationists to be aware of sizeable increases in water flows in the Bighorn River March 25-27 as part of a flushing flow project.
The Bureau of Reclamation will begin releasing additional water from Boysen Reservoir causing flows in the river below Boysen Dam to fluctuate from 475 cubic feet per second to 5000 cfs. Beginning Tuesday, March 25 at 10 p.m., flows released from the dam will increase to 1000 cfs. On March 26, flows will be increased to 2300cfs at 2 a.m. and further increased to 5000 cfs at approximately 7 a.m. for ten hours before being gradually reduced to and held at 1000 cfs by approximately 4 a.m. March 27.
The department advises the public to be aware of the potential dangers related to flushing flows. Sportsmen wading or floating the river during this time should consider the fluctuating water levels. Areas that can be waded effectively at 500 cfs may not be accessible at 5000 cfs.
“We will be keeping close tabs on water discharge levels and ice conditions in order to ensure the safety of people and property along the Bighorn River,” said Sam Hochhalter, fisheries biologist with the Game and Fish. The flushing flow may be canceled or rescheduled depending on water and ice conditions.
Game and Fish has requested the flushing flow in order to clean fine sediments from fish spawning habitats and to increase production of invertebrates that fish depend on for food. Flushing flows have been a regular occurrence on the river since 2005 and have dramatically improved wild rainbow trout reproduction in the Bighorn River. For more information, contact Sam Hochhalter at 307-527-7125.
(Contact: Tara Teaschner or Sam Hochhalter (307) 527-7125)