(Shoshoni, WY) – The Bureau of Reclamation, in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGF), has re-scheduled the flushing flow in the Wind River downstream of Boysen Dam, according to Wyoming Area Manager Lyle Myler.
The flushing flows had originally been scheduled for March 28, but unfavorable river ice conditions prevented safe execution of the increased flows on that date. As a result, the operation was re-scheduled for April 4.
“The purpose of the flushing flow is to clean the spawning gravels and improve fish reproduction in the river. The current reservoir content is above average, and the spring runoff is anticipated to be above average,” said Myler. “Reclamation will retime operations and provide the flushing flow with the expectation that excess water will need to be released this spring.”
Flows in the river below Boysen Dam will be incrementally increased from approximately 1,850 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 5,000 cfs during the early morning of April 4. The 5,000 cfs flow will continue for a 10-hour period. Flows will then be incrementally reduced back down to approximately 2,200 cfs by around 11 pm.
Flows of 5,000 cfs or more in the Wind River below Boysen Dam are not unusual during peak summer snowmelt runoff periods in years of above average runoff. But the flows will be high for this early in the spring.
The public is urged to use caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows.
Located on the Wind River near Shoshoni, Wyoming, Boysen Dam provides irrigation, hydropower, flood control, municipal, industrial, and fish and wildlife benefits. Near Thermopolis, Wyoming, the name of the river changes from Wind River to Bighorn River. More than 60,000 acres of farmland in Wyoming receive their irrigation supply from the Bighorn River downstream of Boysen Dam.