Gavins Point releases expected to drop in coming days

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Release at Gavins Point Dam at Yankton, South Dakota will be reduced over the next few days. 

Saturday morning, Gavins Point Dam’s releases were reduced to 73,000 cubic feet per second (cfs), according to the Army Corps of Engineers. By Tuesday morning, they plan to be releaseing 20,000 cfs. Water elevation at Gavins Point peaked Friday morning at 1212.3 feet, 2.3 feet above the exclusive flood control pool. It reduced to 1211.3 feet Saturday morning and is expected to fall below 1210 feet Saturday evening. They say that tributary flows into Gavins Point, mainly from the Nobrara River, dropped over the last two days, according to the National Weather Service.

For us to reduce releases from 90,000 cfs to 20,000 cfs, we are reducing releases in 10,000-cfs steps every 12 hours. The inflows from the Niobrara are declining at a faster rate, so we are initiating releases from Fort Randall, to balance the Gavins Point inflows with its releases. Releases from Fort Randall do not affect the release schedule at Gavins Point Dam. The travel time for the releases from to Fort Randall to reach the Gavins Point reservoir is about 36 hours,” said Chief of the Corps’ Missouri River Water Management Division, John Remus.

The current Gavins Point release schedule is:

  • 63,000 cfs Saturday evening
  • 53,000 cfs Sunday morning
  • 43,000 cfs Sunday evening
  • 33,000 cfs Monday morning
  • 23,000 cfs Monday evening
  • 20,000 cfs Tuesday morning

While they plan to release only 20,000 cfs by Tuesday morning, the releases can change depending on inflow or river conditions downstream. 

Downstream from Gavins Point of the Missouri River, higher water levels are expected as water flows into it from unregulated tributaries.

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