Bighorn releases were reduced from 2500cfs to 2400cfs in August, which is near the expected winter release rate based on the current forecasted inflows into the reservoir.
The Yellowtail Dam operating criteria states the end of October 31 reservoir elevation target be 3635 to 3640 feet, providing river releases can be maintained at 2,500 cfs or more. If these criteria cannot be met, releases are set to expected winter releases.
September river releases will depend on expected winter releases from upstream dams (Boysen and Buffalo Bill) and the tributary gains forecast. However, August inflows are coming in much lower than expected for Boysen and Buffalo Bill and therefore the projected winter releases may be lower from Boysen and Buffalo Bill. As a result, releases from Yellowtail may be reduced next month to match updated expected winter releases. Based on today’s conditions, September river releases are expected to be in the range between 2,000-2400 cfs. To stay current on daily Bighorn River flows, please click here.