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Missouri River Operating Plans Available

Ahead of fall public meetings, the Draft Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System Annual Operating Plan for the 2023-2024 runoff season is now available for public comment. The Missouri River Water Management Division has made the draft 2023-2024 Annual Operating Plan available at: https:// MRWM/Public-Meetings/.

The public comment period on the draft plan will close Nov. 30. The draft plan will be presented to the public in six meetings to be held in early November. Included in the plan is the possibility for test flows from Fort Peck Dam.

“The purpose of the test flows is to evaluate the potential for achieving pallid sturgeon spawning and recruitment in the upper Missouri River using periodic forecast releases that better replicate historic flows and temperatures and would be conducted to comply with the 2018 Biological Opinion,” said John Remus, Missouri River Water Management Division chief. The basic forecast shown in the draft Annual Operating Plan indicates the reservoir may be above the 2,227-foot elevation next spring, which is necessary prior to the initiation of the test flows. Staff from the Omaha District will be available at the public meetings to answer questions related to implementing and monitoring of potential test flows. Fall public meetings provide an update on current year’s runoff and reservoir operations as well as planned operations for the next year’s runoff season.

The Northwestern Division will host the series of public meeting on Nov. 7-9. The dates and locations of the meetings are: Nov. 7, Poplar at 10 a.m., Fort Peck Community College, 605 Indian Ave.

Nov. 7, Bismarck, N.D. at 5 p.m. CT – Bismarck State College, National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE), Bldg. 15, Bavendick Stateroom 1200 Schafer St.

Nov. 8, Pierre, S.D. at 10 a.m. CT – Ramkota Hotel, 920 West Sioux Avenue Nov. 8, Lower Brule, S.D. at 1 p.m. CT – Lower Brule Community Center Nov. 9, Smithville, Mo. at 11 a.m. CT – Jerry Litton Visitor Center, Smithville Dam 16311 DD Hwy Nov. 9, Bellevue, Neb., at 6 p.m. CT – Bellevue University, Hitchcock Humanities Center, 1040 Bruin Blvd

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