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On the South Dakota reach of the system, Fryda said, there have been some gains in forage numbers.

Last week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said plans are to step up releases through Garrison Dam to 25,000 cubic feet per second by the end of April. Jody Farhat, water management chief for the corps, said May releases should average around 27,000 cfs and around 30,000 in June.

As of Tuesday, the river level in Bismarck was at about 6.25 feet, a rise of nearly a foot over the past week. Discharges were hovering around 27,000 cfs Tuesday.

Paul Bailey, Game and Fish south central fisheries manager, said the higher flows on the Missouri River this summer should help the smelt and other forage fish spawn.

“That is the first step,” he said. “Recovering that forage base so the system can support more adult walleye. That is what we are hoping will start that recovery this spring … a good spawn of smelt and other forage fish.”


Information from: Bismarck Tribune,