North Platte River flows between Gray Reef Dam are normally decreased during September to 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) and that flowrate is maintained through the winter. The releases from Gray Reef Dam and natural inflows are stored in Glendo Dam downstream until the following spring and summer when they are released to water contractors. This year, Reclamation decreased Gray Reef releases to 450 cfs in October in an effort to store water supplies in the larger reservoirs in the upper North Platte System.
The 2021 Water Year (October 2020 - September 2021) on the North Platte River saw uncharacteristically low inflows from the upper North Platte system, which resulted in reduced total North Platte system carry-over storage to 86 percent of average.
Glendo Reservoir storage is slightly above average, and the small reduction in Gray Reef releases for the winter will decrease the likelihood of the need to release water in excess of water deliveries from Glendo Reservoir in 2022. The small reduction in winter flow should improve the likelihood of Reclamation being able to conduct a flushing flow to improve trout habitat conditions, if requested by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Reclamation tries to accommodate these requests when possible without loss to contracted water supply or power generation.