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Flushing flow to aid Bighorn River trout

Cody - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department would like to make sportspersons and recreationists aware of sizable increases in water flows in the Bighorn River March 28 as part of a flushing flow project. The Bureau of Reclamation is actively monitoring ice conditions on the river, and the flushing flow may be postponed if conditions are not ideal.

Game and Fish has requested the flushing flow from the Bureau of Reclamation in order to clean fine sediments from fish spawning habitats and to increase production of invertebrates that fish depend on for food.

The Bureau of Reclamation will begin releasing additional water from Boysen Reservoir causing flows in the Bighorn River below Boysen Dam to fluctuate from 1,100 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 5000 cfs beginning Tuesday, March 28.  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 a.m. for 10 hours before being reduced gradually back to 2,200 cfs at approximately midnight.

Game and Fish advises the public to be aware of the potential dangers related to flushing flows. Sportspersons wading or floating the river during this time should consider the fluctuating water levels. Areas that could be waded effectively prior to increases in flows may not be accessible at 5,000 cfs.

Flushing flows have been a regular occurrence on the river since 2005 and have dramatically improved wild rainbow trout recruitment in the Bighorn River. For more information, contact Joe Skorupski at 307-527-7125 or

- WGFD -