Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: South Dakota
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

South Dakota Project

Water quality, nutrient dynamics and factors affecting water clarity in Belle Fourche and Keyhole reservoirs, SD-WY

September 2006 - December 2010


Participating Agencies

  • Bureau of Reclamation

Belle Fourche and Keyhole reservoirs are located in the Belle Fourche River drainage, South Dakota-Wyoming. Both reservoirs are operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and represent significant water resources to the region. Recreational use within Belle Fourche and Keyhole units has increased in recent years. To meet these demands, resource management plans (RMP) have been completed that address several needs related to overall management of the units. The purpose of the RMPs is to foster stewardship of public lands within the units. As changes in land management and recreation development occur, baseline data on water quality are needed. The purpose of this study is to quantify base-line water quality characteristics, algal biomass, turbidity and zooplankton composition in Belle Fourche and Keyhole reservoirs. Data collected in this study will be comparable to that from other Bureau of Reclamation projects in the Great Plains Region that include Pactola, Deerfield, and Angostura reservoirs. Objectives: (1) Quantify spatiotemporal variation in water quality and biological indicators for Bell Fourche and Keyhole reservoirs (2) Model nutrient dynamics in Bell Fourche and Keyhole reservoirs. (3) Develop predictive models for quantifying factors affecting water clarity.