Boaters Beware While Launching at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir

Boaters Beware While Launching at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir

Written by on May 23, 2022

Boaters planning an excursion at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir will launch and load at “your own risk,” as low water levels have fully exposed the Lake Shore Dock.

As temperatures stay consistently warm, many boaters are looking forward to a water excursion on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. And while nothing’s stopping boating, getting their boats in and out of the water will require more finesse and attentiveness.

Last week, Buffalo Bill State Park posted an update on its Facebook page. Water levels are low enough that the Lake Shore ramp is entirely visible.

Low water levels now at Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Lake Shore ramp is now “launch at your own risk.” We have found the end of the ramp.

The only useable ramp on the reservoir is the Marquette Day Use Area ramp. However, no dock is provided, and a rough gravel roadway to access these ramps.

Limited parking available.

Buffalo Bill Reservoir was estimated to be 58% full as of May 1.

The last update from the Bureau of Reclamation was released on May 12. Approximately 24,000 a.f. of the forecast volume was accumulated during April – only 51% of the April average.

Furthermore, Shoshone River April through July inflow to Buffalo Bill Reservoir is forecast at 600,000 acre-feet. That’s approximately 81% of the 30-year average of 739,800 a.f.

Most of Park County and the entire Bighorn Basin are currently experiencing a severe drought, which will likely keep the reservoir’s water level low, if not make it lower.

The high amount of rain and snow the region received in April and May did lessen the drought to an extent. However, the 2022 forecast calls for a hotter, drier summer than normal.

A hot summer will increase the demand for water and lower the Buffalo Bill Reservoir further.

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