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Fact Sheet 2015–3004

Prepared in cooperation with the Yellowstone River Conservation District Council and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Effects of Water-Resource Development on Yellowstone River Streamflow, 1928–2002

By Cheryl A. Eddy-Miller and Katherine J. Chase

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.38 MB)Abstract

Major floods in 1996 and 1997 intensified public concern about the effects of human activities on the Yellowstone River in Montana. In 1999, the Yellowstone River Conservation District Council, whose members are primarily representatives from the conservation districts bordering the main stem of the Yellowstone River, was formed to promote wise use and conservation of the Yellowstone River’s natural resources. The Yellowstone River Conservation District Council is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to understand the cumulative hydrologic effects of water-resource development in the Yellowstone River Basin. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Yellowstone River Conservation District Council, and U.S. Geological Survey began cooperatively studying the Yellowstone River in 2010, publishing four reports describing streamflow information for selected sites in the Yellowstone River Basin, 1928–2002. Detailed information about the methods used, as well as summary streamflow statistics, are available in the four reports. The purpose of this fact sheet is to highlight findings from the published reports and describe the effects of water use and structures, primarily dams, on the Yellowstone River streamflow.

First posted February 11, 2015

For additional information contact:
Director, Wyoming-Montana Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
3162 Bozeman Ave.
Helena, MT 59601

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Suggested citation:

Eddy-Miller, C.A., and Chase, K.J., 2015, Effects of water-resource development on Yellowstone River streamflow, 1928–2002: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015–3004, 6 p.,

ISSN 2327-6932 (online)


Streamflow in the Yellowstone River

Calculating Streamflow Statistics Using Data from 1928 to 2002

Comparing Streamflow Changes During the Course of a Year

Unregulated and Regulated Low Flows along the Yellowstone River

Unregulated and Regulated Peak Streamflows along the Yellowstone River


Using the Information


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