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FOBHL Board email update - November 2011

 
Minutes of the October 2011 board meeting were approved by the directors via email.

 
As yet I have received no comments from the board about our FOBHL web site and how we can improve it with our purposes in mind. Please respond with suggestions or it's okay as is.

 
On a recent visit to the Horseshoe Bend Campground it was noted that over 25% of the cottonwood trees have died plus last spring all of one type of evergreen had also died.

 
There is consideration for moving the damaged ML ramp to the south in a better protected location. We are also looking at developing a new ramp off of Road 20 on the west side of the south lake about 1 mile off Hwy 14AE. This will allow access to the south lake and will not be affected much by sediment. The south lake was not accessible most of this recreation season due to high water.

 
The Trans Park highway discussion continues with Bighorn county Wyoming and Montana and the Crow tribe.

 
The fall fish sampling by Montana and Wyoming fisheries folks at Bighorn Lake showed a lot of fish. The lake fishery continues to improve as does the catching of nice fish this fall. Large mouth bass were found in the sampling by WGF and also fisherman this fall. The number of fish caught with tags has increased this fall providing additional information.

 
There is a lot of waterfowl in the south lake this fall now we have water. Last fall as you remember it was mud with only a river channel running thru it.

 
FOBHL, BICA, county and Wyoming state government are in discussion with WyoDot on the proper signage for Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area at the highway14,16,20 and 310,789 Junction north of Greybull. The present signs are incorrect and poorly placed.

 
The John Blue canyon and county Road 20 are presently being repaired of damage caused during this summers high water.

 
Jim Hobbs is the new Wyoming Game and Fish warden in Lovell. He will be meeting with us soon to learn about FOBHL and for us to get to know him.

 
One of Doc Barry's river boats that was up at Barry's Landing has been moved into the Lovell Visitor Center to better protect it. We encourage all to come in to see it and learn of it's history!

 
WyoDot has plans to have the causeway repaired in the early spring of 2012. It is necessary to do it when the water is low and all the damage can be fixed.

 
Check out the BICA web site for all the improvements and additions it's awesome! They welcome any suggestions to make it even better.

 
Valerie is the acting Chief of Interpretation at BICA until a new Chief is hired. We again thank Chris for all he did at and for BICA!

 
In February we hope to have BICA grind up more brush near the causeway to improve boater safety in the Kane ramp area. Once the water reaches elevation 3625' which should be in February it will be okay to drive on the ice laying on the frozen mud.

 
The local USFS district plans on having us or Hidden Treasure Charter Boat Tours give on the water tours to their summer employees again next spring. They will also get a tour on the ground of the recreation area. This local education really helps our visitors know what is in the area to see.

 
The Bighorn Basin Area Chamber of Commerce directors meetings are still going well. This sharing of information and resources will enhance the tourism in the entire area!FOBHL supports and encourages these types of networking activities!

 
We are still waiting to receive the tourism bed tax money from Lovell to help pay for the local advertising FOBHL does.

 
There will be a new vinyl sign on our billboard at Rockvale this week. It is a 3 picture design showing boating, ice and open water fishing at Bighorn Lake. This sign will run until next spring when the vinyl will be switched back to the summer one. The Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce decided not to partner with us over the winter months with a snow recreation /lake recreation vinyl.

 
Bighorn Lake and other local lakes are beginning to freeze as the day/night temps stay at or below freezing. The fishing should be excellent on Bighorn Lake this winter. The ice will drop about 10ft between now and March 1, 2012. The dock at Horseshoe Bend has been moved up in preparation for the ice forming.

 
The horizontal drilling company is still trying to drill under the Shoshone river near CETCO for the new fiber optic line. This has been a very long process........

 
BICA hopes to install a new log boom for the 2012 season. The old one is very water logged and does not block much wave action anymore. It also presents a water hazard for boaters sitting so low in the water makes it hard to see.
We are in hopes the BICA/FOBHL management tour will be held soon. We need to get started on our early spring volunteer projects plan.

 
It is exciting to know there is a new biological control being used on the mussels (AIS types) called Zequanox. It is being tried in power plants and water treatment facilities in several places. We are watching it very closely.

 
The Wyoming State Engineers office informed us of new info on the web about tributary stream flows in the Wind, Bighorn and Shoshone river systems. Flow gauges are installed in these streams which will provide more accurate data on system gains from tributaries for water management. The site is http://seoflow.wyo.gov go to division three and sub districts for the various watersheds.

 
The Bighorn River Systems Issues Group sub-committee on sediment leaders met with Lenny and Stephanie of the MT-USBR office on Oct 31 in Lovell. They did an on site tour of the area of the south lake being considered as a place to construct sedimentation basins which will capture sediment that can then be harvested as top soil. This top soil can be used to reclaim mining areas in the area as well as for other top soil uses at construction sites. Following the tour and lunch the group met at the Lovell Visitor Center to finish the meeting. Lenny and Stephanie will now proceed with design planning, EIS and etc in consultation with the COR in Omaha as well as the MT-USBR.
FOBHL provided a CD with over 100 aerial photos taken in July 2011 at elevation 3655ft and also some done in 2009 at elevation 3645ft.

 
Bob C and Ferrell attended the USBR YT dam fall/winter water operations meeting in Billing on Nov 3. This meeting is held to discuss the water operations over the winter months. As was the case at the mid October meeting there were many there with concerns about the flooding of their property in the future and damage to their fishing guide services. The USBR also presented the changes to the draft operation plan and will have a revised plan out by Dec 1 with time given for public input later. The process will take several more years to debug and test. We feel that things are going in the right direction as all the stake holders continue to help refine the plan.
The winter release plan is 3130 cfs to the river, with a March 31 lake elevation target of 3619ft. The lowest lake elevation will occur in mid May at 3612ft then increase to 3617ft by months end. The new draft plan allows for modification of these values should the forecast change up or down. The winter temperature forecast is average temps while the winter precipitation forecast is above normal thru February then average until June.
These forecasts are recalculated frequently and the new values applied to the winter operations plan.

 
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