The end of the navigation season on the Missouri River will allow managers to cut the amount of water released. Dave Becker, operations project manager at Gavins Point Dam near Yankton says over the next five days they’ll reduce the flow each day until it reaches the 11,000 to 12,000-foot range, as they don’t have to keep the water high enough for commercial navigation. Operators of the hydro-power dam say for the past few months, they’d been releasing about 24,000 cubic feet per second for the past few months. WIth this lower flow he says we should still have enough for municipal water plants and other users. The change will mean that some downriver notice a major drop in the level of the Missouri. In some narrow parts it could be a two-foot drop in elevation, less in wider parts of the river, and anyone using the river will have to plan their activities with that in mind, whether they have a dock, hunt or go pleasure boating. Lawsuits by states all up and down the Missouri are still pending as the drought-shrunken river threatens fishing, boating, power generation, shipping and endangered species and river users battle over their conflicting demands.
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