Shared Sacrifice, Shared Success
The Big Hole River Drought Management Plan designates target river flow and temperature conditions for fish health in five river sections of the Big Hole River. The plan includes voluntary conservation targets for all water users, MFWP fishing restriction criteria, and information tools. Conservation actions are designed support the health of the fishery.
The plan outlines voluntary conservation actions and relies on Shared Sacrifice, Shared Success – if all users sacrifice, we can all be successful in protecting the fishery. The plan also designates MFWP fishing restrictions when drought conditions reach critical levels.
The BHWC DMP originated in 1997. The plan is reviewed annually by a committee made up of irrigators, fishermen, conservation groups, and agency representatives as well as the entire BHWC.
From Jacqueline Knutson, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Hydrology Technician. As of 11/15/2017:
Streamflows: Seasonal streamflow gauges have stopped reporting flows. Several gauges are still reporting flows but do not have calculated averages for this time of year.
Forecast: At the end of October ENSO forecasters were finally confident enough in conditions over the Pacific Ocean to issue an official La Nina advisory for the winter of 2017/2018. La Nina conditions have started in the last two weeks and are expected to continue throughout the Northern Hemisphere winter (65-75% chance). La Nina events are characterized by cooler than normal temperatures and greater than normal precipitation.
The three-month outlook: The current forecast for the next three months predicts that we can expect average temperatures and higher than normal precipitation. These forecasts are always subject to change. For more information, visit: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/.
2017 USGS Gage Bill:
Water Temperature at Big Hole River @ Wise River (Dickie Bridge), Maiden Rock, and Notch Bottom (Glen):
USGS Flow Gages for Upper Big Hole CCAA program:
The Wise River real-time gage was installed near the mouth of the Wise River October 2015. The Big Hole Watershed Committee sought installation in order to continue flow and temperature monitoring in the Wise River, as well provide information for Wise River irrigators. The gage reports flow, stage and water temperature in real-time via Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology Surface Water website. The gage is part of the 2015 launch of DNRC & Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology real-time monitoring system for small streams, who installed and operates the gage. Funding was provided by Big Hole Watershed Committee, The Nature Conservancy, and Montana Trout Unlimited and is graciously hosted on the PKR Ranch. The Big Hole Watershed Committee in partnership with DNRC, MFWP, and Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology have been conducting monitoring of the Wise River surface and groundwater since 2011.