News Releases

Average Garrison Dam releases declining to address downstream ice

Missouri River Basin Water Management
Published Feb. 29, 2024
Updated: March 1, 2024
A fisheye lens view looking across the Missouri River in Bismarck, N.D. The foreground of the photo shows a snowy riverbank and some brush. The river is covered in thin ice that has buckled in some areas. Across the river is a treeline under blue skies.

Ice formation on the Missouri River at Bismarck. Image captured February, 29, 2024 at 11 a.m. The ice is jamming and contributing to higher river stages in the Bismarck area.

The Garrison Power Plant and regulating tunnels with the 44,000 cfs combined releases

The Garrison Power Plant and regulating tunnels with the 44,000 cfs combined releases.

Fluctuations in temperatures in the Bismarck area have resulted in ice formation on the Missouri River and an ice jam just south of Bismarck.

To reduce the threat of flooding, releases from Garrison Dam will be decreased today to an average of 22,000 cubic feet per second and tomorrow to 19,000 cfs. Releases may be adjusted as needed over the next several days based on the most up-to-date information.

Releases from Garrison Dam will continue to decline toward 16,000 cfs through the weekend slightly ahead of the three week schedule. Full details will be included in next week's monthly update.

The Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is in contact with the state of North Dakota and actively monitoring icing conditions and river stages. 

Releases from Garrison Dam averaged 25,000 cfs earlier this week.

Average releases are an average of the 24-hour release period including higher releases during peak power generation and minimum releases.

Residents are encouraged to monitor river conditions from the National Weather Service.


The three-week forecast is available here:

National Weather Service river stage observations for Bismarck is here:

For more data and information save the Missouri River Web App to your smartphone’s home screen:

Eileen Williamson

Release no. 24-003