March 12, 2008 Meeting
Present: Carl Malesich, Rob Van Deren, Jeremy Gingerich, Jerry Meine, Kyle Tackett, Dick Oswald, Mike McLane, J. S. Turner, Dennis Miottke, Jim Brown, Nick Hoyrup
The keynote speaker for the March 12 regular meeting was Jeremy Giovando, Hydraulic Engineer for the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation. His presentation was entitled “Clark Canyon Reservoir Water Supply Outlook 2008” He detailed the storage and usage potential for the Clark Canyon basin as of Spring 2008. Key points include:
- The water year is defined as October 1 through September 30 of the following year.
- The tools utilized in developing the water supply outlook include:
- Stream flow information
- Snow pack information
- Precipitation and temperature
- Stream flow information uses satellite telemetry to transmit data pertaining to water level in the river and correlates it to flow using actual measurements.
- Flow accuracy derived from river level (stage) data can be in error due to:
- Algae growth can restrict flow
- Channel characteristics can vary from year to year.
- There are nine gaging stations in the Clark Canyon/Beaverhead system: Red Rock Lakes, Lima Reservoir, Clark Canyon Reservoir, Beaverhead/Barretts, Grasshopper Creek/Bannack, Beaverhead/Dillon, Beaverhead/Anderson Lane, Beaverhead/Twin Bridges, Beaverhead/Geim Bridge.
- There are several snotel sites in the basin, but only a portion are used to predict run off/stream flow. This is based upon historic correlation to actual experience.
- The composite snow pack for 2008 is slightly above the historic average.
- Precipitation and temperature forecasts are highly variable. A three-month forecast is utilized as a qualitative indicator of potential effects.
- 2007 was a low water year, but not like the early 200’s or 2004 which was extremely low. For that reason, we can’t say we are out of the drought.
- There is a slight up trend in storage at Clark Canyon Reservoir since the lowest years of 2003 and 2004. Levels in 2006, 2007, and 2008 are still below average.
- Reservoir inflows for December through April are approximately 60 percent of normal.
- Snow pack in the Lima and Clark Canyon basins are both slightly above average.
- On January I in a typical year only 41 percent of the total annual snow pack has been accumulated. April 15 is the date of 100 percent accumulation.
- Runoff as related to stream flow is very difficult to predict in the Beaverhead due to the broad low elevation benches and permeable soils.
- The predicted August level at Clark Canyon Reservoir will be affected greatly by the outcome of the summer season, but over all some improvement over 2007 is expected.
Grant and Project Updates:
- The path forward for the USBOR/MFWP MOU coordination effort was discussed and future actions were suggested. Primarily, a “Letter of Introduction” for key stakeholders will be formulated and distributed upon approval.
- The Spring Creek Restoration Project, funded under a DNRC Renewable Resource Grant, is still slated to commence on-the-ground work in late spring of 2008. Letters of agreement have been signed by the land owners. Bidding for the final design will take place in late May or early June
- Title II funding which provided the Resource Advisory Committee funds for Blacktail Ridge Weed project has been extended through September 2008. This extension has allowed the inclusion of an additional weed day on Blacktail Ridge and three at Clark Canyon Reservoir in 2008 listed as follows:
- Clark Canyon Reservoir – June 18, July 12, and August 2
- Blacktail Ridge – June 24
- The Beaverhead TMDL (Total Maximum Daily Load) project remains on hold due to manpower shortfalls at MDEQ. Attention is expected to come back to the Beaverhead project in the summer of 2008.
- Outreach and project investigations for future Section 319 grants through MDEQ will ramp back up in 2008 in anticipation of the completion of the Beaverhead TMDL.
The BWC continues to seek good improvement projects both on and off-stream across the watershed. Per the 2007 work plan, funding will actively be pursued for several new projects. Any interested person with a concept or plan for 2008 or beyond is encouraged to contact the BWC.
At the April 28 meeting, Nick Hoyrup, BWC coordinator since 2003 announced his resignation. The search for a replacement will begin immediately.
The next full meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at the Search and Rescue Building in Dillon. Keynote speakers will be Steve Armiger, U. S. Bureau of Land Management Hydrologist and Kyle Tackett, NRCS District Conservationist.
- Mr. Armiger will present “An Introduction to the National Wetland Inventory”
- Mr. Tackett will discuss the 2008 Farm Bill and related conservation programs
As always the public is invited.