View Full Version : Fontenelle expansion

03-02-2016, 09:01 PM
just seen this on bft,thought some one might be interested.

WYOMING — U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis’ (WY-At large) legislation to approve expansion of water storage at the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Fontenelle Reservoir in Lincoln County, Wyoming was approved today by a unanimous vote of the House Natural Resources Committee
“Water is our most precious natural resource and this legislation will help Wyoming increase water storage capacity at the Fontenelle Reservoir,” said Rep. Lummis. “Ranching in Wyoming all my life, I know first-hand we can’t solely depend on rainfall in our high plains desert state. Water storage and other water development projects are what make Wyoming and the arid West bloom and prosper, and this legislation will build on that success story with the common-sense, state-led fulfillment of Fontenelle’s storage potential.”


The bill allows for the expansion of water storage at the Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Fontenelle Reservoir in Lincoln County. This would be accomplished by completing the “rip-rap” around the reservoir. “Rip-rap” is a foundation or sustaining wall of stones or chunks of concrete connected together around the reservoir to prevent erosion.
The bill directs the BOR to reach an agreement with the State of Wyoming to allow the State to complete the “rip-rap” around the reservoir. The State of Wyoming would shoulder the cost of completing this project.
The current active storage capacity of the reservoir is 260,000 acre-feet. The potential to expand the active storage capacity of the reservoir is up to 85,000 acre-feet for a total capacity of 345,000 acre-feet.
This project is part of Wyoming Governor Matt Mead’s “Ten in Ten” plan, which aspires to build ten new water storage facilities in ten years.

Pinedale Fisher
03-22-2016, 12:59 PM
The expansion of water storage at Fontanelle is being funded by the State of Wyoming since no federal agencies could be talked in to it. The expansion meets none of the needs as defined in their charters.

This planned expansion will consist of riprap around portions of the reservoir and on lower portions of the dam itself to reduce erosion by wind-induced waves. Once the riprap is in place it will be possible to completely drain the reservoir at any time. There will be no minimum pool for fisheries or wildlife.

The fishery that has been developed in Fontanelle will soon be a thing of the past.

03-23-2016, 06:10 PM
Do you have any facts to back this up,or is this just your opinion? They can drain the reservoir now,why spend all this money only to drain it later. That makes no sense to me. The key part of this project is to expand water capacity. Some thing Wyoming is lacking in. I can remember back in the 80's when they drained fontenell, so they could work on the dam.They didn't have the added rip rap at that time. Do you really think the Wyo G&F would let this happen?

05-18-2016, 04:13 PM
They cannot drain the reservoir down below the area annually because of the dam face is not lined all the way down with rip-rap. Repeated exposure could cause damage, that is why they want to draw it way down, then line it with rip-rap.

G&F is opposed, but the brilliant minds of Wyoming politics seem hell bent on this. I understand the intent is to create a potential increase in theoretical storage, but in any real-world scenario it makes no sense! No one seems to have an answer as to how this "expanded water capacity" you speak of could have a beneficial use worth the cost of the project, let alone the cost to the fishery! What, are they going to grow more hay between Fontenelle and the Gorge during the 90 day frost-free growing period?

It is all paranoia about water we are not using "escaping" to California, when we do not have a beneficial use that meets any cost/benefit analysis as it is.....