Yellowstone River flooding could help lower-than-normal water levels at Lake Sakakawea

The flood from the Yellowstone River could end up adding some water to Lake Sakakawea.

The Yellowstone River connects to the Missouri River in Williston, and because of this, more water is coming our way. The water will eventually feed into Lake Sakakawea.

But it’s not actually bad news for this popular destination. With the lower-than-normal lake levels that were expected this summer, it’s an added bonus for everyone who plans on being on the water this summer.

Water levels up to 5 feet are expected.

“The part of the Yellowstone, none of it gets captured until it gets to Sakakawea. So that’s why we are going to feel the full effect of all that rain that they had in Yellowstone. And that will be coming here in the next, we’ll start seeing it next week,” said Garrison Dam Corps of Engineers Maintenance and Operation Manager Christopher Silbernagel.

The National Weather Service says the Missouri River has reached nearly 22 feet near Williston, and that 22 feet is considered a minor flood stage — with minor flooding possible for the Williston area.

But Silbernagel says no flooding is expected at Lake Sakakawea.

“There is no concern with any flood event. We have plenty of storage within the Sakakawea. Right now, we’re even 10 feet below our flood control zone, and that’s just the base. So, there is plenty of storage. And like I said this could ultimately be a silver lining in the end,” Silbernagel added.

He says that this will benefit lake goers and boaters and is expected to help some surrounding reservoirs as well.

“We’re going to have improved lake access because that was one of our concerns is our; a lot of our recreator and the boat ramps were high and dry. And there’s actually a lot of funding being worked through to try to reestablish some of those low water ramps. So, actually having all of this extra water is going to improve that. Then also it will give us an opportunity to balance the downstream reservoirs,” said Silbernagel.

The full 5 feet of water is expected to be here by the first week of July, just in time for those fourth of July lake festivities.

There could even be a slight increase in bate fish from the added water.

.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.