Silt run from Guernsey Reservoir underway

In this April 9 file photo, the North Platte River makes its way through a gorge downstream from the Guernsey Reservoir at Guernsey State Park near Guernsey, Wyoming. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Wyoming Area Office in Mills recently started the silt run, a 15 day flush of the reservoir to clear trapped silts that are needed to seal up irrigation systems further down stream.

MILLS, Wyoming — The Wyoming Area Office of the Bureau of Reclamation in Mills, Wyoming, will be lowering the water level in Guernsey Reservoir in preparation for the annual silt run.

“The silt run is an operation which provides silt-laden water to Goshen, Gering-Fort Laramie, and Pathfinder Irrigation Districts under contract with Reclamation,” said Wyoming Area Manager, Carlie Ronca.

On the morning of July 7, the release of water from Glendo Reservoir will be decreased from approximately 4,500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to a flow of approximately 1,500 cfs. The decrease flow will cause a rapid decline of the Guernsey Reservoir level of approximately 25 feet starting the morning of July 8 and continuing through July 11. By Thursday, July 11, the boat ramps at Guernsey Reservoir will no longer be usable due to the low reservoir level.

Water being released from Glendo Reservoir will flow through Guernsey Reservoir flushing silt from Guernsey Reservoir into the canals of downstream irrigators. The silt run will begin on July 12 and is anticipated to continue through July 25. Beginning on the evening of July 25, the release of water from Glendo Reservoir will be rapidly increased to refill Guernsey Reservoir. The level of Guernsey Reservoir is expected to be suitable for boating again by the morning of July 27. However, the reservoir will continue to rise by approximately 6 feet per day and is expected to reach the normal reservoir operation level by the evening of Tuesday, July 30.

Boaters, recreationists, and irrigators should take proper precautions regarding changing river flows below Glendo and Guernsey Reservoirs and the rapid lowering and refilling of Guernsey Reservoir.

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