GARRISON, N.D. (KXNET) — The Missouri River is a big part of our state’s geography and economy — but how has it been doing this year in terms of water and conditions?

At Garrison Dam, one can find out by looking at the structure’s reservoirs.

Officials at Garrison Dam say that the water levels have been high as a result of the spring snowfall.

The water level is three feet higher than they anticipated, and the dam is currently at the peak season level of 1,842 feet.

Starting next month, they’ll start decreasing the water release in order to prepare for winter.

“The whole point behind that is we’re trying to balance all the reservoirs downstream,” explained U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plant manager Christopher Silbernagel. “Lake Oahe, Francis Case, Lake Sharp, and so on. We’d like to balance all those out throughout the winter, and also, it provides us an opportunity to make more hydropower because of the conditions that we’re seeing with the lake.”

Officials say that all in all, it has been a positive year for the river — and that North Dakotans can expect a fairly consistent shoreline throughout the winter. This means that ice fishers can look forward to a nice season as well.