MT Outdoor Podcast: Fresno Dam – Montana’s Incredible Sinking Dam
By angelamontana

Posted: December 30, 2023

How Far Has It Sank? What is the Plan to Fix it? 

How Dangerous is it?

This week on the Montana Outdoor Podcast your host Downrigger Dale talks to Bureau of Reclamation Project Manager Steve Darlinton about the huge projects he is managing that will, among many things, fix the Fresno Dam located just about 15 miles Northwest of Havre, Montana. Fresno Dam was built in the mid 1930’s and since then it has been slowly sinking! Not something you want a dam to do! Especially when you have the towns of Havre and Chinook just downstream from the Dam. How far has it sunk and how dangerous is this situation with the dam? Click here and listen to the podcast and find out! There is so much information packed into this podcast that you may want to listen to it a few times. Rigger and Steve not only talk about fixing the Fresno dam but get into the details of how that will happen and how the work, that will be starting this summer, will affect water levels in Fresno Reservoir. How far will the reservoir water levels be dropping and when will that happen? Again, click here to listen to the podcast and get all the details. Rigger’s guest Steve Darlinton does a great job explaining everything about this major project! But Rigger and Steve don’t just talk about Fresno Dam and Reservoir. They also talk about the other water ways that the Montana Bureau of Reclamation oversees including Canyon Ferry Reservoir, the St. Mary Diversion Dam and Canal and many others. Speaking of the St Mary Diversion Dam and Canal did you know that canal was constructed in the early 1900s and stretches over the great divide to carry water to the Milk River? Steve talks about how that incredible project was constructed all those years ago, of course using tools that would be considered rather primitive by today’s standards, but some incredible hard-working Montanans pulled it off. Course fast forward to today and you can imagine there is a lot of work ahead of Steve and his team to modernize that! Do you know why that project was built in the first place all those years ago? We are guessing you are going to be pretty darned surprised to learn the answer to that question. Click here to listen and find out all about it. Like we said, this podcast is packed full of incredible information, covering the stories of how many of the waterways along Montana’s Highline came to be and what the future holds for them! 

To learn more about the Fresno Reservoir Dam project by clicking here. Learn about Canyon Ferry Reservoir by clicking here. Learn about the St. Mary Diversion Dam and Canal projects by clinking here. Learn about other Bureau of Reclamation projects going on in Montana by clicking here. Learn all about Bureau of Reclamation projects across the country by clicking here. If you would like to ask Steve Darlinton Bureau of Reclamation Project Manager a question, click here to send him an email. As always be sure and give your thoughts about this podcast and or ideas for topics for future podcasts to Downrigger Dale, click here to email him now


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