Boysen Dam to Begin Flushing & Raising Water Levels in Bighorn/Wind Rivers

Written by on March 13, 2020

The flushing time of year is here.

The Bureau of Land Reclamation has scheduled a flushing flow in both the Wind River and Bighorn River at the end of March. The average inflows into the Boysen Reservoir are higher than anticipated, which has become something of a regularity in recent years. This flush is designed to accommodate the mountain runoff once thawing begins in earnest. This will be accomplished without adversely impacting overall power generation at Boysen Power plant or the expected water supply for irrigation.

The flushing will begin on March 28th at 2 a.m. The release of water from Boysen Dam will be increased to 3,000 cfs, and further increased to 5,000 cfs at approximately 7:00 a.m. for 10 hours before being reduced gradually back to 2,000 cfs at approximately midnight.  Flows in the river below Boysen Dam will fluctuate from 2,000 cfs to 5,000 cfs during the flushing flow. The schedule may be modified depending on river ice conditions.

The purpose of the flushing flow is to clean the spawning gravels of fine sediment that has accumulated over the winter which is expected to improve trout reproduction in the river.

The public is urged to use extreme caution during this period of rapid fluctuation of flows below Boysen Dam.


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