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Madison Dam’s role in protecting vulnerable fish

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Town Crier “Briefs from the Region” (2) – 8/17/21

The Madison Dam is located in Bear Trap Canyon and feeds water to the Madison River. This summer, as many local rivers suffer from low flow and warming temperatures from drought conditions, the dam has been working overtime. The frequent pulses—more this year than any year before—are balancing water levels in Hebgen and Ennis lakes as well as managing the temperatures of the Madison River. The pulses from the dam keep the river water below 80 degrees, the threshold at which trout and other members of the salmonid family will die. “It’s one thing to see people not be able to launch particular boats or utilize that [reservoir], but it’s another thing to see thousands of dead fish in the river,” Travis Horton, fisheries manager for Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 3 told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Read more about the dam’s important role in Montana history in “This Day in History” below.

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