ENNIS — NorthWestern Energy is trying to restore flows to the Madison River after the water level dropped dramatically on the river downstream of Hebgen Dam.
“NorthWestern Energy is in communication with our river resource partners on the situation,” according to a statement from NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Jo Dee Black. “NorthWestern Energy is currently working to restore flow to the river.”
According to the United States Geological Survey (SGS), the Madison River just below the dam dropped from a discharge of about 650 CFS (cubic feet per second) to about 195 CFS. The USGS gauge on the Madison River below Hebgen Lake at 2 a.m. was 1.43' and by 3 a.m. fell to 0.68'.
The Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana reports fish being stranded along that part of the river due to the sudden drop.
FWP is aware of the problem and is on the scene assessing the situation.
FWP's Morgan Jacobsen is asking people to stay away because of human safety and the risk to trout redds. Those are the little trenches females dig to lay eggs so males can fertilize.
This is a developing story.
Additional reporting by Matt Elwell, Mike Heard and Rebecca Gaylord - MTN NEWS