The Big Wood River in Ketchum hit its lowest-ever recorded flows for the dates every day this past month, according to U.S. Geological Survey data collected at the gauge near the Sawtooth National Recreation Area headquarters.
On Monday, the gauge picked up a reading of 42.7 cubic feet per second, around 4 cfs below the previous low-flow record for Sept. 28 of 47 cfs, recorded in 1960.
That continues a troubling trend for the river, which has continually set low-flow records since spring.
August 2020 also beat out previous low-flow records observed in 1960 and 1966, with only three days out of the month—Aug. 1, 2 and 5—flowing at higher rates.
Severe drought conditions persist in Blaine County, according to the U.S. Drought Portal. In September, conditions in the Wood River Valley ranked as “severe,” indicating water shortages and likely crop and pasture loss.