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Test Flows To Ramp Up During June

The second ramp regarding test flows from Fort Peck Dam by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled for mid-June.

After the first ramp of test flows, the amount has been lowered to a target of 10,000 cubic feet per second in Wolf Point.

“We will hold that flow until mid June. We will start ramping up the second peak on about the 13th of June,” John Remus, Missouri River Basin Water Management office chief, said during a public information call last week.

Remus said the target level for the second ramping is 22,500 cfs in Wolf Point.

Joe Bonneau, Missouri River Recovery Program manager, reported there is a good amount of monitoring being conducted before, during and after flows.

“There’s a lot of monitoring besides the fish monitoring,” he said.

Other monitoring include intakes and water quality.

Pat Bratten, U.S. Geological Survey, said that 12 pallid sturgeon have entered the Missouri River system. That number includes three prior to the flow increase, six from April 30 to May 6, and three from May 10--14. A few more fish have exited the system.

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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