News Releases

Now Available: Draft Missouri River Operating Plan; Possible Fort Peck test flow; Fall public meeting schedule

Missouri River Water Management Division
Published Sept. 25, 2023
A graphic showing a map of the Missouri River basin on a black background. The Missouri River and its tributaries are highlighted in blue. The six mainstem dams of Fort Peck in Montana, Garrison in North Dakota, Oahe in Pierre, Big Bend, downstream of Pierre, Fort Randall Dam, and Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota with markers in red. In yellow downstream flow target locations in Sioux City, Omaha, Nebraska City, and Kansas City are noted. On the left, the dates and locations of the Fall public meetings are called out. Nov. 7 Poplar, MT and Bismarck, ND Nov. 8 Pierre, SD and Lower Brule, SD Nov. 8 Smithville, MO and Omaha/Bellevue, NE.

Fall 2023 Public Meetings will be held on the following dates Nov 7 Poplar, MT and Bismarck, ND Nov. 8 Pierre, SD and Lower Brule, SD Nov. 9 Smithville, MO and Omaha/Bellevue, NE

Ahead of fall public meetings, the Draft Missouri River Mainstem Reservoir System Annual Operating Plan for the 2023-2024 runoff season is now available for public comment.

The Missouri River Water Management Division has made the draft 2023-2024 Annual Operating Plan available at:

The public comment period on the draft plan will close Nov. 30. 

The draft plan will be presented to the public at six meetings to be held in early November.

Included in the plan is the possibility for test flows from Fort Peck Dam.

“The purpose of the test flows is to evaluate the potential for achieving Pallid Sturgeon spawning and recruitment in the upper Missouri River using periodic forecast releases that better replicate historic flows and temperatures and would be conducted to comply with the 2018 Biological Opinion,” said John Remus, chief of the Missouri River Water Management Division.

The basic forecast shown in the draft Annual Operating Plan indicates the reservoir may be above the 2227-foot elevation next spring, which is necessary prior to the initiation of the test flows.

Staff from the Omaha District will be available at the public meetings to answer questions related to implementing and monitoring of potential test flows.

Fall public meetings provide an update on current year's runoff and reservoir operations as well as planned operations for the next year's runoff season.

The Northwestern Division will host the series of public meeting on Nov. 7-9. The dates and locations of the meetings are shown below.

  • Nov. 7, Poplar, MT @ 10:00am MT – Fort Peck Community College, 605 Indian Ave
  • Nov. 7, Bismarck, ND @ 5:00pm CT – Bismarck State College, National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE), Bldg. 15, Bavendick Stateroom 1200 Schafer Street
  • Nov. 8, Pierre, SD @ 10:00am CT – Ramkota Hotel, 920 West Sioux Avenue
  • Nov. 8, Lower Brule, SD @ 1:00pm CT – Lower Brule Community Center
  • Nov. 9, Smithville, MO @ 10:00am CT – Jerry Litton Visitor Center, Smithville Dam 16311 DD Hwy
  • Nov. 9, Bellevue, NE @ 5:00pm CT – Bellevue University, Hitchcock Humanities Center, 1040 Bruin Blvd

Eileen Williamson

Release no. 23-035