There is an interesting article in the latest issue of the Angling Report. It looks like the Intermountain West is going to have a very rough fishing season. Expect there to be river closures in MT, CO, and WY by mid July. Luckily (but not without other problems) the Deschutes River Basin has a number of dams and reservoirs, that allow consistent flow even during lowest water years. We should feel the same effects they are further east.
Here is an excerpt:
MONTANA. Montana, like Idaho, watched the wet winter weather pass to the south. March and April brought some moisture and cool weather to the mountains but only enough to give a small boost to low summer streamflow predictions. In the western part of the state, summer streamflow predictions for destination rivers such as the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Big Hole and Clark Fork are forecast to be as much as 60 percent below normal with the Bitterroot and Lower Clark Fork hit especially hard. Further east, ticularly in the northern Rockies - you may not find “nor-
mal” streamflows this summer. The outlook for the Jefferson, Madison, Gallatin and Yellowstone rivers is a bit better, but they still are predicted to run in the neighborhood of 20 percent below the 30-year average. The Bighorn River streamflow is projected to be around 75 percent of average. Again, if predictions hold, the best timing for fishing in Montana will be mid June through early August, maybe even a little earlier for rivers in the western part of the state.
WYOMING. Streamflow across this state is expected to be considerably below average from May to September. The upper Snake, Madison and Yellowstone river basins are predicted to be 70 percent of average, at best. Summer flows for the Shoshone and Clarks Fork river basins in the northern part of the state are projected at 65 percent of normal. Farther south, things look better: the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne rivers should run close to 100 percent. The upper and lower North Platte rivers are, however, predicted to run at only around 60 percent. Reservoir storage across the state is good, which will help.
COLORADO. Moving southward to Colorado, the streamflow outlook improves but only slightly. Across northern Colorado, the winter snowpack that feeds streams such as the Colorado, Yampa, White and North Platte is below normal. Those rivers, and the South Platte, are projected to have summer flows at 70 to 80 percent of normal. In contrast, streams further to the south in Colorado are predicted to see near-average to slightly above-average volumes. Reservoir storage across most of the state is near average, which should help alleviate late-summer shortages in some basins.