Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will release a "spring pulse" from Gavins Point Dam on the Missouri River Friday at midnight. The pulse is intended to promote spawning of the endangered pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River. Water flows will increase by 9,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) over the current flows of 16,000 cfs for a two day period and will then be reduced over a 10-day period.

"While drought conditions continue throughout South Dakota, this pulse will have a minimal impact on the recreational activities and water levels in our state," said Thune. "I will continue to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to balance the management of the River while protecting an endangered species from extinction. This release of water is lower than the Corps initially planned which speaks to the importance of balancing priorities in times of drought.

"It's also important to keep in mind that this pulse will not have an adverse impact on the Mni Waste' water intake, which is good news for the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and the 14,000 South Dakota residents that depend on this for drinking water. Senator Johnson and I worked with the Corps of Engineers to secure millions of dollars in federal funding to ensure the intake is relocated to deeper water. I am hopeful that the recent snow storms in Western South Dakota will assist in replenishing the reservoirs."

During March and April the Corps held water in Fort Randall and Gavins Point Reservoirs to supply what will be needed for the upcoming release. This planning was done to reduce the negative impacts to water levels in the Oahe Reservoir. Earlier this year, the Corps decided not to move forward with the first spring pulse on March 1, 2006 because of low water levels in the Upper Basin, which includes Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. However, because of sufficient water levels in the Upper Basin during water measurements the Corps took on May 1, 2006, the second pulse was approved to move forward in keeping with the Biological Opinion entered into between the Corps and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.