The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will vary the flows in the North Platte River downstream of Gray Reef Dam starting next week, and people should be careful near the water, according to a news release.

“The purpose of the fluctuations is to improve trout reproduction in the river,” Wyoming Reclamation Area Manager Carlie Ronca said.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department asked for the varied flows from March 18-24, and will collect data before, during, and after the flushing flows in order to evaluate their effectiveness.

The flushing flows are expected to clean the spawning gravels of fine sediment which has accumulated over the winter. The fluctuations will be achieved without loss of power generation.

The Gray Reef Dam is two miles downstream from the Alcova Dam.

The water released from the Alcova Reservoir will be restored downstream in the Glendo Reservoir.

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

The flows will intensify and recede during the seven nights. They will start at 500 cubic feet per second at 1 a.m., increase to 4,000 cfs from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., and decline to 500 cfs by 6 a.m.

On March 24, the peak flow of 4,000 cfs will be from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m., and will decrease to 500 cfs at 7 a.m.

The schedule may be modified depending on river ice conditions.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 western states.  Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits.

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