Dam that boulder!

Well as much as I was wanting to head out and fish the Madison this Fall I knew it wasn’t a reality, and thank goodness for that! The Bozeman Daily Chronicle is reporting that a giant boulder broke loose from a cliff and pounded into the dam below Ennis lake causing the flow rate in the Madison to jump from 1,500 CFS up to 2,000 CFS. Good thing it was 3:20 am and not during normal fishing hours, not that 500 CFS would wipe you out but you know that would be freaky. More Below.

PPL Montana employees are working to contain damage to the Madison Dam near Ennis caused by a school bus-sized boulder that dislodged and smashed into the western crest of the dam early Monday morning.

There were no injuries and the dam was still producing electricity at full capacity as of Monday afternoon, said David Hoffman, spokesman for PPL.

“We do have to bring Ennis Lake 9 feet down,” Hoffman said. “We’re still discussing the best way to do that—slowly or quickly.”

The damage occurred at about 3:20 a.m., when the large boulder dislodged from the steep cliff on the west side of the dam. The impact caused a collapse about 30 feet in width, and the boulder still lodged against the dam.

An on-call PPL employee was alerted to the collapse by an alarm, Hoffman said.

Water is leaking around the edges of the boulder, which is causing river flows downstream of the Madison Dam to run at about 2,000 cubic feet per second, about 500 more cfs than usual, Hoffman said.

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