Madison River

by | May 21, 2006 | 0 comments

The biologists that study the flows, river quality and the trout have decided to raise the river to 3500 cfs at the Kirby station. The Kirby station is currently reporting 2280 cfs as of today May 21, 2006. Starting on Tue. at 8:00 am, the dam managers are going to gradually release water until it reaches 3500 cfs at Kirby. It will stay this way for three days and then the will bring it back down. This should get interesting. The reason, we’re told, is to clean out the silt from the gravel making it a better for spawning habitat.AND, to make room for more snowmelt in Hebgen Lake Folks around here think that the eggs which have already been deposited in the gravel will be blasted downstream and wrecked. .
I don’t know what to think. I like the idea, but think they could wait about 1 more month to do it. The last time this happened in 1992, the river went to 7000 cfs. The channels above the Slide Inn disappeared, the eggs were distroyed and about a year late the state came out and said the Madison’s Rainbow population was decimated by Whirling’s Disease. Yes, the Madison did have a battle with WD, but it did not help that an entire years worth of rainbows went down the drain.
I will remain optimistic about this decision to raise the flows this early this the season. The biologists have studied the flows and have predicted that the eggs will not be flushed. We won’t know the outcome until late this year or even next season.