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Old 05-26-2008   #1
thecraw's Avatar
Boulder, Jackson Kayak, Colorado
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Bear Creek? Anyone have info on it for 2008???

Seems strange that this hasn't come up to a runnable level yet. Even just for one day???

Last year, I remember someone saying that a dam was being constructed somewhere upstream (evergreen?) and that once completed, BC would never be at runnable levels again...

Is this true? If so, when will it be done?

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Old 05-26-2008   #2
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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i thought they were doing work on the Evergreen damn which is why there was such a good season last year. typically Bear doesn't run unless there's a sh!t load of snow in Evergreen. my 2c..

"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
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Old 05-26-2008   #3
Evergreen, Colorado
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actually the dam is in... it is below kitridge and above the lair of the bear park on the North side of the road. They pump the water out of the river and into a reservoir that was formed by the dam. They use it for water for people in Genesse. I imagine that they are going to use run off to fill the reservoir. Besides it has not been to much above freezing at night where all of the snow is. So for the same reasons that Golden has barely come up bear creek is not moving. In the end what I think will end up happening is we will see a gage somewhere near Evergreen lake start to peak while the gage in Morrison will be low.

My opinion is that the bear will never run again. I think Genesee residents will suck all the water out of it.
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Old 05-27-2008   #4
Evergreen, Colorado
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Here is a link to the gage above Evergreen lake
USGS Real-Time Water Data for USGS 06710385 BEAR CREEK ABOVE EVERGREEN, CO
Today it made it up to 100 CFS

Here is a link to the gage at Bear Creek lake near Morrision
It was only at 75 CFS

Someone is taking water off of it somewhere. I suspect it is the damn. 25% may not seem like much but when Evergreen lake is at 200 and Morrision is at 150 that is going to suck. I am not sure what the water rights are for Genesee but the good news is that they had to compete with Soda lake/Bear creek lake, and I imagine the big Golf Course.... Only time will tell. Does anyone know how to find out what their rights are?
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Old 05-27-2008   #5
Amsterdam, Netherlands
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that's the saddest thing i've heard in a long time
"I would drag my balls across broken glass just to hear her fart into a walkie talkie" -Jay Drury
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Old 05-27-2008   #6
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Here's the tool to search water rights:
Colorado's Decision Support Systems

Bear will run again. Genesee's reservoir is only 125 acre-feet.
Genesee Water & Sanatation District

125 af equals:
63 cfs for one day
32 cfs for two days
16 cfs for four days

Bear will run again.

Is the Bear Creek near Morrison gage above or below the diversion near the hogback? I think that diversion is Denver Water's Morrison Intake #2. If the morrison gage is downstream, that diversion could account for the difference between the evergreen and morrison gages.
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Old 05-27-2008   #7
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 490
Dan, you're spot on.

I think it's partially a gauge issue and partially just that Bear has a high elevation snowpack (like Clear Creek). I was up there sometime two weeks ago and the creek was a little higher than the gauge would suggest, but not much.

I don't know if the gauge issue will be a bigger deal in the next month's runoff, but it's usually only 50-ish cfs that pours off above Morrison. I know this because last year there was debate about which gauge to use: above Morrison or at inlet to Bear Lake. Neither was ever more than about 50 cfs different from the other.

It just hasn't been continually warm enough yet to really get the flows going on any of the front range creeks. There'll be mank for everyone soon enough.
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Old 05-27-2008   #8
Join Date: Mar 2004
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As of last wednesday, bear creek above the lake was still somewhat clear, low (easliy wadable across entire stream), and fishable. Runoff into the lake has not happened yet. The brown color below the lake is from cub creek and other tribs.
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Old 05-27-2008   #9
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Every high mountain lake I looked at over the weekend still had a layer of ice on it, so the current runoff is just the lower snowpack for the most part. That and like said above, night time temps above 9000 feet are still below freezing, 28 degrees in Fairplay this morning when I was checking to see if I should take the motorcycle to work. I have been fooled a few times when it was 45 degrees and not a cloud in sight in BV. Only to find Park Co. socked in and snowing when I climb the pass.
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Old 05-27-2008   #10
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
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Agreed. It really hasn't gotten warm enough to get bear going. Evergreen and morrison gauges are very close, I don't think that there is a lot being diverted. Also, bear creek above the lake gauge is below the diversion and bear creek at morrison is above. The gauge above the diversion is better IMO. Comparisons with evergreen gauge show similar flows.

What is concerning is that bear has been steadily bleeding an unrunnable 50-80 cfs and if it doesn't warm up soon and fast I'm worried it will trickle itself away, without much of a runnable season at all.

We had a couple late season storms that dumped good snow in the foothills and that is gone but the high snowpack is locked in with the cold. I think we got lucky last year with the big storm that got it running, followed by weather that got the upper snowpack moving at the right time for a great season.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

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