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Corps Says Higher Flows Underway

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Water Management Division held its second weekly virtual meeting on Wednesday, May 1.

The public can access the meetings, which start at noon (mountain time) on Wednesdays, at https:// php?MTID=ma8b176ff7ce-553ae5f1f645f3a8629a4.

During the May 1 meeting, John Remus, Missouri River Basin Water Management office chief, said that the test flows started April 26, and the flows were anticipated to reach the planned 18,000 cubic feet per second mark in Wolf Point on May 1.

“We needed to get some spillage to reach the peak,” Remus said.

He was unsure if the 13,500 cfs amount planned for this week was going to be reached.

Joseph Bonneau, Corps of Engineers, said non-fish monitoring and water quality monitoring are also being conducted.

Information from celllinked logging stations was shared during the conference call. During the week of April 1, there were 16 pallid sturgeon reported between the dam and Yellowstone River. The fish included three wild and 13 from the hatchery. For the week of April 15, there were nine pallid sturgeon reported.

From April 15-28, three new fish were detected entering the lower reach of the Missouri River. There was one reproductive female fish in the Wolf Point area.

“What people are going to be watching for is what and what not these fish do,” Bonneau said, adding whether the fish stay or do they get closer to the dam.

Roosevelt County resident Buzz Mattelin asked how much of the water is from the power house and how much from the spillway. He was told about 12,500 cfs from the power house and about 3,500 cfs from the spillway.

There were 58 participants during the May 1 call.

The 2018 Biological Opinion requires the test under the Endangered Species Act for operation of the Missouri River Mainstream Reservoir System. The purpose of the test flows is to evaluate the potential for achieving pallid sturgeon spawning and recruitment on the upper Missouri River.

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