Bighorn River Flows High

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Date: June 24, 2009
Contact: Linden Schlenker, 406-666-3316

Due to heavy rain and spring run off, Bighorn River flows are currently at 12,450 cfs.  The water in the river is high and swift.  The National Park Service encourages people boating on the Bighorn River to use extreme caution and wear personal floatation devises (PDF) at all times.  The Afterbay is also high with a swift current.  Please observe and heed all restricted areas around the Afterbay Dam, Yellowtail Dam, and secure areas.

As of June 24, 2009 Bighorn Lake was at an elevation of 3645.35, over five feet into flood pool.  At this high lake level, the water is reaching into areas with old drift wood left by subsequent high years and causing it to float into the main lake. Boaters are encouraged to watch carefully for islands of debris. There are also some large logs floating now that need to be avoided.

For current lake and river conditions or help planning a visit, visitors may call the Cal S. Taggart Bighorn Canyon Visitor Center at 307-548-5406 or the Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center at 406-666-3218.  Visitors may check Bighorn lake elevation and out-flows on the Bureau of Reclamation website at

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area Headquarters Office
PO Box 7458

Fort Smith, MT 59035


(307) 548-5406

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