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James River

James River Information

JAMES RIVER INFORMATION-Jamestown and Pipestem Reservoirs are located along the James River and Pipestem Creek immediately north of Jamestown, N.D. Pipestem Reservoir is a United State Army Corps of Engineer (USACE)  project and Jamestown Reservoir is a Bureau of Reclamation project that is regulated by the USACE when the reservoir is in the flood control zone.

*Data from gages on the James River in North Dakota and South Dakota is available on the U.S. Geological Survey website at

Daily reservoir information is provided by the Corps at

--In 2009, the James River at LaMoure gauge had two records created with levels of 17.56ft on April 15th and a high creat of 16.52ft earlier that spring of 16.52ft.

--On April 4, 2019 near midnight, the James River at LaMoure gauge rose to 15.95ft which would overtake the 2010 record level of 15.80ft.

--Heavy Rains in May 2015 caused the river to rise.  The river crested at 12:45AM on Thursday, May 21st at 11.42ft at the LaMoure City Gauge.  Action Flood stage is 12.0 ft.  

--High Flow years mean that more than 160,000 acre-feet need to be discharged.  2012 was a low flow year with less than 50,000 acre-feet discharged versus 2011 was the record year for volume at over 800,000 acre-feet discharged.Other Recent Years of High Maximum combined releases from the Jamestown,Pipestem Reservoirs are below in the table.

YearMaximum Release
Total Annual Discharge Volume (acre-ft)
1997 1800cfs ~445,000


Historic Crests

Major flood stage 18ft
James River at LaMoure (Highway 13)(1) 17.56 ft on 04/15/2009 - Record
(2) 16.52 fton 03/27/2009
(3) 16.20 ft on 05/24/1969
(4) 16.17 ft on 04/14/1969
(5) 16.09 ft on 04/01/1997

(6) 15.95ft on 04/04/2019
(7) 15.80 ft on 03/21/2010 -

Moderate flood stage 16 feet ~ 7,530 cfs
(8) 15.34 ft on 05/16/1950        
(9) 14.85 ft on 03/21/1966
(10) 14.85 ft on 04/11/1952
(11) 14.67 ft on 04/13/1996
(12) 14.64 ft on 07/21/1993
(13) 14.48 ft on 04/06/2011
(14) 14.43 ft on03/20/1996
(15) 14.33 ft on 07/01/2011
(16) 14.17 ft on 03/24/1994

- Flood stage 14.0 feet ~ 3,880 cfs

–Action stage 12.0 feet ~ 2,690 cfs

–Average level 7 to 8 feet

News & Updates

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
Posted on 10-15-2019

Flood Update
Posted on 10-15-2019

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