Reclamation issues April 2022 snowmelt forecasts for Bighorn River Basin

(Fremont County, WY) — The Bureau of Reclamation has issued its April forecast of the April through July runoff prediction for the Bighorn River Basin. Below are the predictions for the reservoirs in Fremont County:

Boysen Reservoir – Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 450,000 af, which is 75% of the 30-year average of 604,000 af. As of April 1, Boysen Reservoir is 84% full. *

Bull Lake Reservoir – April through July snowmelt runoff into Bull Lake Reservoir from Bull Lake Creek is expected to be 130,000 af, which is 92% of the 30-year average of 142,000 af. As of April 1, Bull Lake Reservoir is 58% full. *

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*Reservoir is considered “full” when the pool elevation is at top of active conservation or joint-use pool. The percentage is based on total reservoir volume below that level.

The Bighorn River Basin is bounded by the Absaroka Range on the west, the Pryor Mountains of Montana on the north, the Bighorn Mountains on the east, and the Wind River and Granite Mountains to the south. It is drained to the north by tributaries of the Bighorn River, which enters the basin from the southwest, and passes through a gap between the Owl Creek and Bridger Mountains as the Wind River before changing its name to the Bighorn River at Wedding of the Waters, south of Thermopolis.

Reclamation’s storage reservoirs in the basin have a combined storage capacity of 2.6 million acre-feet and most of that capacity is attributed to Bull Lake, Boysen and Buffalo Bill Reservoirs in Wyoming and Bighorn Lake in Montana. Hydropower is produced at Boysen Powerplant and four powerplants supplied by Buffalo Bill Reservoir in Wyoming and at Yellowtail Powerplant in Montana.

For additional information on Boysen, and Bull Lake Reservoirs, contact Acting Wyoming Area Manager Lyle Myler at 307-261-5671.

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