Timelapse

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The Platte Basin Watershed

In Motion

More than sixty cameras across the Platte Basin capture images of our water as it travels from the Rockies to the Missouri River. The cameras take a picture every hour of daylight and tell the story of our changing landscape.

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Benjamin Ranch

Grasslands|Wetlands

Located on a working cattle ranch in the western Nebraska Sandhills, this camera shows seasonal changes on an alkaline wetland. The western Nebraska Sandhills have a complex region composed of highly alkaline lakes and wetlands....

Broome Hut

Mountains

This camera is a fixture on the deck of the Broome Hut high in the Second Creek cirque in Grand County, CO. At 11,350 feet above sea level, winter arrives early and lingers late each...

Camp Ashland Chute

River

Looking north along a restored channel of a backwater chute at the Camp Ashland Training Site, NE. This area was historically connected to the lower Platte River, but hardening of banks along the Platte River...

Camp Ashland Chute Inlet

River

Overlooking the inlet of a backwater chute at the Camp Ashland Training Site, NE. The lower Platte River is located in the background. It is anticipated that there will be periods of high water events...

Camp Ashland Chute Outlet

River

Overlooking the inlet of a backwater chute at the Camp Ashland Training Site, NE. The lower Platte River is located in the background. It is anticipated that there will be periods of high water events...

Camp Ashland East Slough

River

This camera is looking downstream from near the inlet of a restored slough on Nebraska National Guard property. This slough is fed by groundwater from a nearby wetland and the Platte River a few hundred...

Camp Ashland East Slough 2

River

This camera is looking upstream from near the inlet of a restored slough on Nebraska National Guard property. This slough is fed by groundwater from a nearby wetland and the Platte River a few hundred...

Camp Ashland Platte River

River

This camera looks west at a sandbar complex along the lower Platte River at the Camp Ashland training site near Omaha, Nebraska. These sandbars are dynamic and support a diverse wildlife community from common waterfowl...

Cheeseman Reservoir

Reservoir

This camera watches Cheesman Reservoir, which is the result of Cheesman Dam. Construction of the dam began in 1898 and was completed in 1905. The dam stands 221 feet above the streambed and was once...

Cheesman Spillway

Mountains|Reservoir|River

This camera provides a view of the South Platte River below the Cheeseman Dam and Reservoir. Water is released from Cheesman Reservoir to the South Platte River, providing wildlife habitat and recreation opportunities as it...

Cottonwood Ranch East

Wetlands

Existing conditions at Cottonwood Ranch grassland–wetland habitat area (August 2017 – April 2018), construction activities associated with development of broad-scale recharge water project facilities (May 2018 – August 2018), after construction conditions at Cottonwood Ranch...

Denver Golf Course

Urban

This camera was located in a residential neighborhood in suburban Denver. A golf course, a heavy consumer of water, fills most of the frame. The canal located directly in front of the fence, destined for...

Derr Restoration

Wetlands

Located on Nature Conservancy property along the south channel of the central Platte, this camera shows part of a habitat restoration project where a sandpit lake has been regraded and shaped to create a meandering...

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

River

The Fraser River was recognized as one of the United State’s most endangered rivers. Increasing diversion from Denver Water and Colorado’s Front Range threatened to drain the river completely dry at times. An agreement between...

Eby Lake

Wetlands

Located on a private ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills, this camera will watch the ebb and flow of the lake after a large-scale carp removal project that went underway in early September 2021. Carp are...

Fire Forest Poudre River

Mountains|River

Severe forest fires often leave steep slopes vulnerable to erosion. During storms, runoff sediment may render water untreatable for drinking and even suffocate fish. To prevent this, forest restoration is needed to undo a century...

Fote Playa

Agriculture|Wetlands

Nestled between agricultural fields on private land in Lincoln County, Nebraska, this camera watches a small playa wetland through the seasons. Playa wetlands form in shallow depressions where a thick clay layer causes water from...

Gering Fort Laramie Irrigation Canal

Agriculture

This camera looked over a north-flowing canal that provides irrigation water to surrounding fields. Agriculture in this part of the state is made possible in part by irrigation canals like this. Scotts Bluff National Monument...

Gracie Creek

Wetlands

Gracie Creek is located on the Switzer Ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills. Gracie Creek is a cold, clear, groundwater-fed stream. The stream stays open year-round due to the powerful springs that feed it. Cattle can...

Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory

Grasslands

This camera faces north overlooking a Sandhills valley at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, a research station located north of Whitman, Nebraska. The camera captures activities of a working ranch from haying to...

Jack Creek

Mountains|Woodlands

Jack Creek’s little side falls illustrate the widely varied nature of mountain streams that coalesce to form the North Platte. Jack Creek in this stretch is a rocky bottomed mountain stream dependent on snowmelt for...

Lake Agnes

Lake|Mountains

Lake Agnes is situated at 11,000 feet above sea level and is our highest camera in the North Platte watershed, just below the Continental Divide in the Never Summer Range. Dozens of similar “cirque lakes”...

Lake Ogallala

Reservoir

Lake Ogallala is created from released water behind Lake McConaughy and Kingsley Dam. During the release, water sprays from the dam, creating a ‘rooster tail’ or an arc of water over the lake that allows...

Lied Platte River Bridge

River

This camera is located below the Lied Platte River Bridge on the hiker/biker trail near South Bend, Nebraska. The camera provides a low-angle view looking upstream from mid-river, capturing dynamic river processes of ever-shifting sandbars...

Mahoney State Park Tower

River|Woodlands

Located on the observation tower at Mahoney State Park between Lincoln and Omaha, this location gives a bird’s eye view of the Lower Platte River and surrounding wooded bluffs. The river here is mainly fed...

Mick’s Slide

Grasslands

Located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, this camera captures the winding stream of a branch of the Middle Loup River as it cuts through the Nebraska Sandhills. “Mick’s Slide” is in the...

Mormon Island

Wetlands

Hydrologically connected to the central Platte, the extensive wet meadow landscape on Mormon Island is managed by The Crane Trust, which is working to preserve and restore native prairie and wet meadow habitats. Highly dynamic,...

Near Elm Creek

River

This camera is oriented to the southeast and looks downstream on land owned by the Nebraska Public Power District. The area is an active study site for the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program researching river...

Nine Mile Hilltop

Grasslands

Nine Mile Prairie is one of the largest remaining patches of unaltered tallgrass prairie left in eastern Nebraska. Most of the original prairie in the Great Plains was turned over with plows to create farm...

North Fork Cache La Poudre River

Mountains|River

This location provides an intimate view of the North Fork of the Cache La Poudre River in The Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Canyon Preserve. Phantom Canyon is one of the last roadless canyons left in Colorado....

North Loup River

Grasslands|River

Located on a branch of the North Loup River on a ranch in Cherry County, these falls are gradually moving to the west upstream in a process called “head cutting”. The flow of this creek...

Pathfinder Spillway

Mountains|Reservoir

Completed in 1909 as part of the North Platte Project, Pathfinder Dam was one of the first large dams created under the 1902 Reclamation Act. It was constructed to irrigate lands in Wyoming. Our camera...

Phantom Canyon

Mountains|River

Located 30 miles northwest of Ft. Collins and consisting of over 1,700 acres, The Nature Conservancy’s Phantom Canyon Preserve is one of northern Colorado’s last roadless canyons. Our camera overlooks the North Fork of the...

Rowe Sanctuary Crane Camera

River

This camera was located along the bank of the Platte River at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary and one of the first two cameras set in place at the beginning of the PBT project. During spring migration...

Rowe Sanctuary Tower

River

Located at Audubon’s Rowe Sanctuary, this camera atop of 35 foot tower provides a bird’s eye view of a braided river channel and shifting sandbars along the central Platte River. Between late February and early...

Sandhills Windmill

Agriculture|Grasslands

Located on the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Gudmundsen Sandhills Laboratory, this camera location looks north upon an icon of the Nebraska Sandhills – the windmill. The windmill pulls up clear cold water from the aquifer below,...

Shoemaker Lake

Grasslands|Lake

Located on the Switzer Ranch in the Nebraska Sandhills, Shoemaker Lake is a large Sandhills lake watered by springs and precipitation. Its water levels can fluctuate widely throughout the year. Miles away from any maintained...

South Platte Beaver Dam

River

On the banks of the South Platte River, near Ovid, Colorado, PBT placed a timelapse camera looking at a beaver dam that crosses the main channel of the South Platte. Once ubiquitous throughout North America,...

State Line Gauge Weir

River

The Stateline Gauge is responsible for monitoring water flows from Wyoming into Nebraska. A litigious past has resulted in settlements on the quantity of water each state receives and what that water is used for,...

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