Both the Yellowstone River and Yellowstone Lake are approaching records in terms of height and water flow, according to the Billings Gazette. The Yellowstone River is approaching 10,000 cubic feet per second as measured at the Fishing Bridge gauging station, where records have been kept since 1923. The 4th of July saw the river measured at 8.3 feet on Monday, with the potential to reach nine feet — which would be at flood levels and above the record measurement of 8.9 feet in 1997.
Those traveling next to Yellowstone Lake were treated to high waters approaching the side of the road, along with some closed trails and access, particularly in the Bridge Bay area.
Meanwhile, it doesn’t appear that the high waters are affecting fishing in the Park. The Madison River is still muddy in spots, but it sounds like the fishing has picked up now that caddis are out and the water is clearing, according to this column in the West Yellowstone News.
And a note of clarification: an oil spill on the Yellowstone River in Billings, more than 100 miles from the Park, will not affect anything within Yellowstone National Park.