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Old 11-10-2003   #1
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Big Thompson flows

I apologize for being behind the times on this one.

I noticed several of you talking about running the Big Thompson below Estes Park. We have been releasing a higher flow than normal from Lake Estes to the river for the past week or two. Unfortunately, that release is now over.

Friday night (November 7) we dropped releases back down again. The Big Thompson should be back to more typical winter flows. We will only be sending about 25 cfs or so from the dam for the rest of the cold season.

But, I say this tentatively. It has been a very dry fall and our water scheduling is always subject to change. If flows do pop up again, I will be sure to post that information here.

I do think those of you who ran it are crazy, though. I was driving by while a group was scouting last week and I thought, "How do you NOT hit your head on rock in that river?!"

Please give me a holler (970/962-4326) or post here if you have questions about the Big Thompson.


Kara Lamb
Public Information
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
(970) 962-4326
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Old 11-10-2003   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 557
thankyou for giving us this information. we all really appreciate any info about flows in the future.

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Old 11-10-2003   #3
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Seattle, Washington
Paddling Since: 1999
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Posts: 1,471
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Kara, you rock! Thanks for all your beta!
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Old 11-10-2003   #4
boof512's Avatar
Teacher, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 308
future flows

Thanks for the great info..
I am from back east and some of the rivers back there are dam released as well.. The kayakers back there have worked hard to build relations with dam keepers so that they know when it will release.. Is there any way that we could build a realationship like that so that we will have more of a heads up next time my favorite back yard river will run?

thanks for your time and any information
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Old 11-13-2003   #5
Loveland, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 510
Yes--I'm happy to provide as much of a response as I can. I don't get a lot of head's up myself--water demands and weather are difficult to predict and our releases respond to both. But, I will definitely post to this site whenever there are significant flow changes for the Big Thompson River.

Also, if there is enough interest, I would be happy to put together an e-mail notification list like the one I send out whenever we have changes at Green Mountain Dam affecting flows on the Lower Blue. If you, or anyone else who reads this post, would be interested in having your e-mail on a Big T flows notification list, please respond here or e-mail me at and I'll put a list together. I'll also send my press releases regarding Lake Estes to the Big Thompson River list, if interest supports it.

Just let me know!
Kara Lamb
Public Information
Eastern Colorado Office
Bureau of Reclamation
(970) 962-4326
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