Brett French reports: Rainy May boosts upper Missouri River runoff
By angelamontana

Posted: June 7, 2024

Parts of Montana received more than 200% of their normal precipitation for the month of May, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That helped boost runoff into Fort Peck Reservoir as well as added to mountain snowpack. The moisture also helped keep Fort Peck Reservoir’s level up as the Corps releases large volumes of water to conduct tests related to endangered pallid sturgeon. Those first high flows have leveled off after peaking at the end of April, but the Corps plans to boost releases into the Missouri River below the dam once again this month. As the water is released, scientists are conducting studies to determine if pallid sturgeon enter the river to spawn. If the fish do spawn, scientist will be trying to track if the larvae hatch and survive before hitting the head of Lake Sakakawea, where they settle to the bottom and died. Based on mountain snowpack and forecasts, Fort Peck Reservoir is expected to drop by about a foot by the end of June. To read more, check out my story at

Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for Billings Gazette Communications
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