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Old 03-27-2012   #1
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
2012 NFSP / Roberts Tunnel Flows

3/27 Update...

Denver Water turned on the tunnel recently and is currently holding tunnel flows at 128 cfs. Thats about 145 in the north fork at grant. Abnormally warm March weather is increasing demand for water on the plains, but runoff hasn't started in earnest in the high country, so they are pulling water through the tunnel. Denver Water thinks flows could be in the 120-200 cfs range from the tunnel in the next week, depending on weather. Keep an eye on the tunnel gauge just in case they crank her up to runnable flows.

Denver Water noted that they will probably be pulling more water through the tunnel this year than normal due to the low snowpack. Could be a good season on the North Fork, which is small consolation in a dismal snow year.

Also, note that there is currently a fire close to the north fork that has closed down foxton Rd (the way to get from 285 to foxton or waterton). If you are planning on doing some early season boating down there, check for road closures before you go.

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Old 03-27-2012   #2
DanOrion's Avatar
Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Horay for DWB updates! Thanks!

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Old 04-04-2012   #3
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
4/4 Update...

Denver Water turned down the tunnel to ~170 cfs today after demand for water lowered after the spring storm. Denver water expects the tunnel flows to go up as the weather warms up, so keep an eye on the gauges.

The grant gauge is more accurate than the bailey gauge in my opinion. I would check it to see what tunnel plus natural flow is doing.

Grant gauge
Detail Graph

Also, the landowners at the old put in at the farmers union / rawhide flyfishing by the culvert bridge have asked paddlers not to park or launch there. A new parking lot was built right next (to the left of) the ATF liquor store in Bailey. Its a big lot and it has bathrooms, although they weren't open yet for the season last weekend. Please launch in Bailey and park at the new parking lot. The new parking lot will keep you a little further away from the grouchy feed store owner too.

As always... please respect 4 falls landowners. Do not piss in front of landowners, if you do have to go, go in the river so no one can smell your business, don't leave any trash and pick some up if you see it, be courteous to the landowners if you run into them, and be discrete when portaging or scouting at 4 falls.

Have a great Bailey season... its probably going to be a low water year savior.

Bailey Fest is Aug 10-12, so there is at least one bright spot on the calendar for a low water year. Hope to see you all there.
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Old 04-04-2012   #4
Ft Collins, Colorado
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 198
Ian - as always many thanks for the river level updates, and your efforts to keep us informed so we don't cross paths with the landowners or business folks in Bailey. I was wondering about the current situation with parking so this was very timely for me. I'll look forward to Bailey Fest - it might be the only game in town this year.
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Old 04-08-2012   #5
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
Tunnel is going up right now. 263 at the 9:15 update, may be going higher. Gauge updates online every hour I think.

Nice Easter present from Denver water!
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Old 04-09-2012   #6
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
4/9 update...

Denver water is keeping the tunnel steady today at ~270 cfs. About 300 in Bailey. Grant gauge is more accurate than Bailey gauge. DW might turn down the tunnel a bit in the next couple of days depending on weather or demand. Get it while it's on!
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Old 04-09-2012   #7
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 258
Wanna go tomorrow? Anybody?
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Old 04-09-2012   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 117
Originally Posted by Crazy Nate
Wanna go tomorrow? Anybody?
After work? I could be out there by 5 if need be.
Whitewater Map American Whitewater river info you can use.
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Old 04-11-2012   #9
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 3,097
4/11 update...

Denver water turned up the tunnel to 300 cfs today. Another 30ish cfs in the river. There is 340 at the grant gauge. Nice!

Denver Water cut back cheesman outflow as they are trying to fill cheesman, but runoff projections are weak, and they are concerned cheeseman won't fill.

My take... this will likely mean that cheeseman outflow is low during the pre-runoff period, and into the main runoff period (if we actually have one) as Denver Water tries to store water in Cheeseman. During this time, they will use the tunnel flows through the north fork to meet metro demand. Its looking like we could see some decent flows on the north fork in the near term.

Also... Bailey Fest is Aug 10-12 this year. With a weak snowpack and an early melt, my guess is that paddlers will be begging for something to paddle by the second weekend in Aug and Bailey Fest has got you covered!
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Old 04-11-2012   #10
ACC's Avatar
dropzone, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 845
Do you think the 300 release will hold into/thru the weekend? Thanks!

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