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Libby Dam

17877 Highway 37

Libby, Montana 59923-7828

Libby Dam Office (406) 293-7751 

Kootenai River Levels Recording (406) 293-3421

For Visitor Information contact the Visitor Center (406) 293-5577



Libby Dam

Libby Dam Project is a multi-purpose water resource development.  Its purposes are flood reduction, hydropower, recreation, and environmental stewardship. We recognize that our day to day activities in operating a facility such as Libby Dam have a direct impact on the environment. Our goal is to operate Libby Dam to minimize negative impacts on the environment through pollution prevention and mitigation, and we are committed to continual improvement.  Our commitment is to comply with environmental legislation, rules, and regulations. We encourage environmental stewardship at every level throughout the organization.

Flow Update

May 19, 2016

Current Koocanusa Reservoir elevation:  2,415.2 feet
Current Koocanusa Reservoir inflow: ~23,000 cubic feet per second
Current Libby Dam outflow: 26,200 cfs
Current Kootenai River elevation at Bonners Ferry: 1,757.2 feet

Outflow from Libby Dam will remain at full powerhouse capacity, approximately 26,500 cfs, until May 26.  Flows will decrease over two hours from full powerhouse to 21,500 cfs on May 26 at 10 p.m. MST. Flows will decrease further, from 21,500 to 20,000 cfs, May 27 at 1 a.m. MST.  There will be another decrease from 20,000 to 17,000 cfs on May 29 at 10 p.m. MST. Flows will continue to ramp down to the anticipated flat flow for this summer and the sturgeon volume is expected to be extinguished in mid-June.

The May water supply forecast for the April through August inflow volume to Libby Dam was 5.831 million-acre-feet, which is 99 percent of the 1981-2010 average.  The current refill (VARQ) flow, based on the May water supply forecast, is 15,500 cfs.  The May forecast also sets the sturgeon augmentation volume to 0.93 million-acre-feet and the July-August minimum flow for bull trout to 7,000 cfs.

The Northwest River Forecast Center creates daily forecasts for short term projections throughout the Kootenai and Columbia River Basins.  These forecasts may be updated multiple times in a day and as conditions change.  Links to those forecasts can be found below.

Short term forecasts for Libby Dam elevations and inflows:

Short term forecasts for Libby Dam outflow:

Additionally, projected inflows and reservoir operations at Libby Dam through next summer can be found here:

These modeling results are updated at least monthly and include information on elevations, inflow, and outflow:

Page 1 shows Lake Koocanusa elevation probabilities through the summer
Page 2 shows Libby Dam outflow probabilities through the summer
Page 3 shows Lake Koocanusa elevation probabilities for a given date
Page 4 shows Bonners Ferry stage probabilities through the summer
Page 5 shows Bonners Ferry maximum stage probabilities for the year

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