Reclamation issues February 2022 snowmelt forecast for Bighorn River Basin

(Fremont County, WY) — Reclamation’s February forecast of the April through July runoff predicted for the Bighorn River Basin is as follows:

• Bighorn Lake – Bighorn River April through July inflow to Bighorn Lake is forecast to be approximately 900,000 acre-feet (af), which is 73% of the 30-year average of 1,228,500 af. As of February 1, Bighorn Lake is 83% full.*

• Buffalo Bill Reservoir – Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 600,000 af, which is 81% of the 30-year average of 739,800 af. As of February 1, Buffalo Bill is 60% full.*

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• Boysen Reservoir – Wind River April through July inflow to Boysen Reservoir is forecast at 550,000 af, which is 91% of the 30-year average of 604,000 af. As of February 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 150,000 af, which is 106% of the 30-year average of 142,000 af. As of February 1, Bull Lake Reservoir is 58% full.*

*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 Basin is a plateau region and intermontane basin, approximately 100 miles (160 km) wide, in north-central Wyoming. It is bounded by the Absaroka Range on the west, the Pryor Mountains on the north, the Bighorn Mountains on the east, and the Wind River and Granite Mountains on 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.

For additional information on Buffalo Bill, Boysen, and Bull Lake Reservoirs, contact Acting Wyoming Area Manager Lyle Myler at 307-261-5671. For additional information on Bighorn Lake (Yellowtail), contact Montana Area Manager Ryan Newman at 406-247-7298.

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