According to USGS real-time water data, as of July 9, 2011 there are 28,400 cubic feet per second (cfs) of Yellowstone River flowing near Livingston, MT, about 60 miles from Mammoth Hot Springs at the north entrance to the park. The maximum for the past 86 years was 21,300 cfs in 1975 while the minimum was 3000 cfs in 1931. The median cfs is 8,340 while the mean is 9,080. I am neither a hydrologist nor a statistics freak - is the average cubic feet per second of Yellowstone River somewhere between these two numbers or around 8,710 cfs?
|Yellowstone River at Fishing Bridge area|
|Fishing Bridge across Yellowstone River|
|Fishing Bridge steps to Yellowstone River|
Regardless, we are waaaaay over any of those numbers. In the park, swimming in the Firehole River is off-limits due to high water. Sections of roads are closed due to high water. Sections of trails are closed due to high water. Some lakeside boardwalks, notably at West Thumb Geyser Basin, are nearly submerged due to – you guessed it – high water.
The geese appear to be loving life in the submerged grasses!
|Canada Geese in Yellowstone River at Fishing Bridge area|
It will be fascinating to see if the lake level rises any more, and to watch as it recedes over the course of the rest of the summer.
|Submerged hot spring, West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake|
|A rare close-up for a kayaker at West Thumb Geyser Basin|
|High-water Yellowstone Lake at West Thumb Geyser Basin|