The purpose of this study is to (1) determine the average discharge during a period that is representative of average streamflow conditions, (2) determine the range of discharge, and (3) determine the storage required to supplement natural flows during drought periods.
Elk Creek drains 587 square miles of the North Fork Red River basin. The climate is subhumid, and precipitation averages about 23 inches per year. The average discharge at the gaging station near Hobart is 50 cfs (cubic feet per second) or 36,200 acre-feet per year during a 19-year base period, water years 1938-56. The yearly average discharge ranged from 4.6 cfs in 1940 to 146 cfs in 1957.
Maximum runoff generally occurs during May and June. The maximum monthly runoff was 64,520 acre-feet in May 1957. The maximum yearly runoff was 105,500 acre-feet in 1957.
There is no sustained base flow in the basin. Severe droughts occurred in 1938-40 and 1952-56. The most extended drought occurred from June 1951 to March 1957, during which time there was a prolonged period of no flow of 182 days in 1954-55. A usable storage of 28,000 acre-feet would have been required to provide a regulated discharge of 1,500 acre-feet per month throughout these drought periods.
(available as photostat copy only)