Flooding in Midwest Contributing to Rising Big Horn Lake Levels

Written by on July 1, 2019

A mix of melting snow and added rainwater is causing Big Horn Lake to rise into the flood pool.

According to an article in the Lovell Chronicle, as of June 19, the water level at the Lake was at 3,642 and a half feet, 2½ feet into the flood pool. By last week, according to park rangers, the water level had continued to rise and reached 3,644 feet.

Officials say high flows in the Missouri River system have caused flooding in the central United States, particularly in Nebraska and Missouri, and in order to deal with the flooding, the Bureau of Reclamation has been holding water back in upstream reservoirs. A cool spring and recent rains have also been a factor in the rising water at Bighorn Lake.

The high-water levels are causing wood debris to appear on the lake, which is dangerous for boats, especially pieces that seem small and could easily be pushed out of the way but are actually submerged logs or limbs that can damage boat propellers or engines. Christy Fleming with the Bighorn Canyon Recreation Area says the Park Service is actively working to manage the debris.

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