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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
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Painted Rocks Reservoir


Painted Rocks 2.jpg

Reservoir Operations

The operation of Painted Rocks Reservoir involves three main parties: DNRC, the Painted Rocks Water Users Association (PRWUA), and the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP). Painted Rocks Reservoir stores approximately 32,362 acre-ft (ac-ft) of water, with 25,000 ac-ft marketed to the FWP and PRWUA. In addition, the Bitterroot River Water Commissioner manages the river to insure the apportionment and diversion of decree and contract waters.

DNRC owns the dam and the reservoir area. It is DNRC’s responsibility to insure that the reservoir is filled and operated safely and that water is available for delivery to the contract holders when it is called for.

The shares marketed to the PRWUA (10,000 ac-ft or 2/5th) is primarily used for agricultural purposes. This water can only be released when called for by the PRWUA. If you have any questions regarding the releases of contract irrigation water, please contact the PRWUA.
 
The shares marketed to FWP (15,000 ac-ft or 3/5ths) are used for in-stream flows. This water is released when called for by the FWP. If you have questions regarding the releases of contract fisheries water, please contact the FWP. The local FWP contact in the Bitterroot Valley is Chris Clancy (406-363-7169).

Date Last Updated:

7/22/2019

Reservoir Elevation (FT_MSL)

4725.3

Current Storage (ac-ft)

32,301


Inflows to Painted Rocks

Stream Name

 

Flow Rate (cfs)

Blue Joint Creek

 

33.6

West Fork Bitterroot River

 

63.0

Overwich Creek

 

15.4

Slate Stage

 

8.9

Little Boulder Creek

 

-

Total Inflow

 

120.9 cfs

 
Outflows from Painted Rocks Reservoir

USGS Gauge (ft)

 

Outflow before gate adjustment (cfs)

179

Outflow after gate adjustment (cfs)       

210


Water Contracts

 

Current Flow

(cfs)

Previous Flow Rate

(cfs)

Volume Delivered   Since Last Report (ac-ft)

Volume Delivered to Date (ac-ft)

Volume Remaining   (ac-ft)

 

Days Remaining at Current Flow

Irrigation   Contracts

(10,000 ac-ft)

-

-

-

-

-

-

In-Stream Fisheries   Contracts

(15,000 ac-ft)

-

-

-

61

-

-

Comments

July 22, 2019

The first release of contract water occurred on July 19 when FWP requested release of 50 cfs, mainly to moderate water temperature in the West Fork. Water temperature was expected to rise because of predicted + 90 degree weather. The initial release was 66 cfs because spilling was expected to stop within a few days. Spilling stopped the following day, July 20. When this occurs, there is a drop in total outflow from the dam. As a result, another gate adjustment was made on Monday, July 22.

Fisheries water contract deliveries are dictated by the MT FWP and irrigation water contract deliveries are dictated by the Painted Rocks Water Users Association. If you have any questions regarding the timing of the releases of contract water please contact the respective organization that owns the water.

Painted Rocks Dam outflow information
The USGS gage link information for the gage immediately below the dam: https://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/uv?site_no=12342500  This site has flows that are recorded/displayed every 15 minutes and can be assessed by anyone at any time. Therefore it will give you the most up to date outflow information available for Painted Rocks Dam.

 


 

Contacts

DNRC
Water Projects Bureau
1424 9th Ave
Helena, MT 59620-1601
(406) 444-6646

Contact:
Missoula Office
(406) 721-4284


PRWUA Directory