Bureau of Reclamation Delays Flow Fluctuations at Gray Reef Dam
The Bureau of Reclamation, in response to a request from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, has re-scheduled a series of fluctuating flows in the North Platte River downstream of Gray Reef Dam.
This operation has been postponed to accommodate construction work at the Alcova Bridge.
The fluctuating flows will begin March 29 instead of the previously scheduled start date of Monday, and they will be repeated daily through April 7.
“The purpose of the fluctuations is to improve trout reproduction in the river,” Wyoming Reclamation Area Manager Carlie Ronca said.
The flushing flows are expected to clean the spawning gravels of fine sediment which has accumulated over the winter. The fluctuations will be achieved without loss of power generation.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department asked for the varied flows and will collect data before, during, and after the flushing flows in order to evaluate their effectiveness.
The Gray Reef Dam is two miles downstream from the Alcova Dam.
The public is urged to use caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Gray Reef Dam.
The flows will intensify and recede during the seven nights. They will start at 500 cubic feet per second at 1 a.m., increase to 4,000 cfs from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., and decline to 500 cfs by 6 a.m.
The flows will stay at 500 cfs after April 7.
The water released from the Alcova Reservoir will be restored downstream in the Glendo Reservoir.
The schedule may be modified depending on river ice conditions.
The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 western states. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.