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Old 05-03-2004   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 6
ark in june

i see the ark basin has approx 100% snow pack. does that pretty much guarentee water the first week in june?

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Old 05-03-2004   #2
pnw, Washington
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Old 05-03-2004   #3
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
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well actually I would say it does. I can not envison a scenario where we don't have any water (more than winter flow) by June 1. I have lived here for 11 years and I would venture to say that the water is almost always over 1000cfs by June 1 with the noted exception of 2002 (henceforth known and refered to as the summer that never was). Since my doomsday post about a month ago things have really improved on the Ark. However, the 100% snowpack number is a little misleading given the fact that the snowpack in the Sangres is over 100% but does not contribute that much significant flow. The upstream sites (Fremont Pass and Indy Pass) are still below average (80% last I checked) so I would guess we are looking at a decent peak (sometime around end of May to end of June) with less than average late summer (after July 1) flow.

But it is not too late for more weather. It has been a wet and cold April here in Salida so we can still pray for more of that.
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Old 05-03-2004   #4
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 60
So what temps are necessary to break it loose?

So what temperatures does it have to reach for the Ark to start running? I know that the full answer to this is pretty involved, but does anyone have a rough feel for this? A week of highs in the 80s in Salida/BV, assuming it is comparably mild at higher altitudes? I'm wondering whether to tell some friends to hold off on a paddling trip here in mid-may. Looking pretty iffy to me at the moment.
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Old 05-03-2004   #5
pnw, Washington
Join Date: Oct 2003
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It seems like for the last 3 or 4 years they have shut off the flow on the ark by June and held the water in the mountains. If they dont this year I will be very happy. What happened to the good ole days when they guaranteed 1500 cfs till the end of summer?
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Old 05-04-2004   #6
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 40

hola amigos. My .02 on the ark. usually around may 15th flows start creeping up. for the past few years the ark sems to peak in the first or second week in june. usually flows will b over 1000cfs by 06/01, with the exception of the drought 2 years ago. As far as guaranteed flows of 1500cfs... that hasn't been the case for the past six years, and I'm not sure about before then. the deal is supplemental flows to approx 700-750cfs @ wellsville gauge, which means about 650-700 in browns. any level above 1000 is decent in the numbers/pine creek, although I have boated them at less than 200 and they still are fun. I also tend to think that late season snow melts earlier in the summer, becasue it doesn't get as compacted as early season snow. late season snow =earlier peak+long august(if you work on the ark).
just my .02
so yes stop by and check out the ark
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Old 05-04-2004   #7
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 805
There has never been a time where "they" released 1500cfs through the end of the summer. The Flow Program consists of augmentation flows from twin lakes and Clear Creek. There is a set ammount of water designated by the BOR for flow augmentation (usually 10,000acre feet) and as the native flow drops the BOR augments the flow with their water to keep the river above 700cfs in Welsville. Years that there is more native water the river stays above 700 longer and the flow aumentation lasts longer. They target August 15 as the shut off date but if the native flow drops below 700 too early and the BOR has to release more of their water to augment the flow then the 10,000acre feet runs out sooner and we are left with low flows at the end of the summer. When flows stay above 1000cfs into August (like 1999) that is usually the result of Monsoons and better than average snowpack.

To answer the orginial question. The Flow Program stipulates that water deliveries are held back until after May 15 so that the hatching trout are not blown out by high flows. So if there is a lot of warm weather then the river can come up before the 15th from tributaries not controlled by a dam but usually the most of the water will start to come downthe river after May 15. The exact language is "to the extent possible, between April 1 and May 15, Reclamation should maintain flows within the range of 250cfs and 400cfs in order to provide conditions favorable to egg hatching and fry emergence."
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Old 05-04-2004   #8
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King of 4th and F
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 18
wow mike

Look at the big brain on Harvey, damn with all those kids and what not running around your house I'd have tought you would have deleted all that ARRMP drivel from your memory. We missed you on Saturday.

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Old 05-04-2004   #9
Mike Harvey's Avatar
Salida, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
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Posts: 805
I learned from the master... Pizza Time Wood.

not as bad as I missed you guys. I had to mentally convice myself that no one was out paddling, that everyone had two sick kids like me, so that my profound depression would not be evident.

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