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Fort Peck Flows Continue At 10,000 CFS

Test flows from Fort Peck Dam are remaining constant, according to last week’s conference call by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

John Remus, Missouri River Basin Water Management office chief, said the first peak is over, and a daily average of 10,000 cubic feet per second is being released at the Fort Peck Dam until at least to the end of this month.

Later in the call, Remus said an additional 2,200 to 2,300 cfs are currently coming from Milk River to Wolf Point.

Randal Sellers, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said officials have been collecting data and performing water samples from Fort Peck to Lake Sakakawea. Cameras will soon be installed at additional irrigation intakes.

Pat Braaten, U.S Geological Survey, reported that there are 30 cell-linked logging stations covering 240 miles of the Yellowstone River and 180 miles of the Missouri River.

He said two new pallid sturgeon, both female, have been detected since the prior week.

He added that six fish were detected from April 17-25, and six were detected from April 30-May 6.

Braaten said there are about 40 wild pallid sturgeon with transmitters. Officials constantly try to catch fish and put new transmitters on them.

Remus stressed that it would be difficult to make any determinations of the test flows’ success based on only one test.

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. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Missouri River Water Management Division started its weekly virtual meetings on Wednesdays on April 24, to keep residents updated on the status of Fort Peck test flows.

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