Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Runoff - It's here. It's early. It's biggish.

Spring runoff is upon us in western Montana and it is early. Early by a couple weeks (more like a month) at the least. It was a weird winter and spring. In the valley, it was pretty mild, but we maintained a pretty healthy (read average) snowpack with a good deal of low elevation snow. For much of the spring, the area rivers were running two to three times the mean historic spring flows. With the recent string of high 70 degree days, runoff was initiated.

We are experiencing record breaking flows for this time of the year on all four of Missoula's famous local waters. Certainly not the record setting flows of last year. But considering that it is April 27th and the Clark Fork above Missoula is already pumping at 17,200 cfs, we are experiencing record flows for late April. In fact, the historic maximum discharge for the Clark Fork above Missoula on April 27th was 13,500 cfs (set in 1934).

Similar stories can be told about the Bitterroot and Blackfoot Rivers, as well as Rock Creek.

The Bitterroot at Missoula is flowing at 15,500 cfs, breaking the previous April 27th record (2003) of 5,960 cfs.

The Blackfoot at Bonner is flowing at 11,500 cfs, surpassing the previous April 27th record (1974) of 7,690 cfs.

Rock Creek near Clinton is flowing at 3,380 cfs, breaking the previous April 27th record (1974) of 1,540 cfs.

I'm blaming this on La Nina.

Although, this could be the first year that I truly hit the Salmonfly hatch. Everyone else probably has the same idea. Side Note: Golden Stones could be quite good this year as well.


OneBugIsFake said...

That is a very elaborate excuse for not having a video for me to watch.

Ivan said...

You needn't worry OBIF. There will be a new YGF video on Monday...or Tuesday.

GeeRam said...

Wish all of us in Colorado had some run off.....going to be a dry summer/fall

Sanders said...

Same thing out here (without very good snowpack)...gonna be a skinny year.

Howard Levett said...

I'm afraid that's where we're heading in Colorado as well. I guess we'll know pretty soon.

Terminal tackle said...

Too lenghty… It would be fine if you add video...
Awaiting For your updation...

Ivan said...

@ GeeRam, Sanders, Howard - I just saw the numbers for your snowpack. It is impressively low. Here's to hoping your late summer and fall aren't dry ones.

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