I emailed someone at AW about this issue last year. It would be easier to just post the whole email, but I don't want to ask their permission so here is the short of it.
1. Opening the gate early won't happen because they can't keep people off the side roads. The forest service isn't interested in putting up permanent gates to keep people out citing both preserving natural beauty and the expense. They also have no extra funds to do road maintenance. They also will not cater to a single group.
2. Long Draw reservoir is privately owned. The apparently have no obligation to anyone but themselves and the people they sell water, even though tax payers put the road in they use. Since we are asking for free water, I think they would say go fish. The way releases typically happen, is the requirement is added to the FERC relicensing process. If the dam wants another 99 year license, they have to accommodate the public. Until then, they say take a hike. I wonder what the private owners pay towards road maintenance? I bet they plow it to get up there in the winter, but doubt they pay the grader to come in and make it nice once a year.
3. The dam is an "earthen" dam, not concrete. They claim changing flows is hard on it. In some ways I don't blame them. Repairs would cost a lot.
We all want easy answers, but water and agriculture in Colorado are big business. I haven't met kayakers who are willing to put in the work and $$ to get our point across. Heck most of you aren't even AW members and they are a lobbying group for kayakers to handle these exact issues. Realistically the best way to make this happen is:
1. Identify the politician who this affects.
2. Get 2 checks for $2500, and go have a discussion with said politician. That is how the real world works. They will hear our issue for 15 minutes for the first $2500 and the second $2500 would be paid when the issue is fixed. If everyone would chip in $50, 100 kayakers could fix the problem. If it isn't fixed, each kayaker gets a $25 refund.
3. Have a lot of kayakers paddle it. I bet at most 50 kayakers paddle it less than 100 times. 100 people show up to the Glenwood wave in a few hour when it is in. There is strength in numbers.
Some other thoughts would be kayakers reserve all the camping spots and have a festival up there each year on opening weekend so the forest service would see we are a big user group.